YouTube/Lil Nas X/Columbia
When Lil Nas X rewrote the rules of the game with “Old Town Road,” it only made sense that the viral hit’s eventual video would be a blockbuster. But the artist’s hard pivot from meme-maker to cinematic visionary has been at least a little unexpected, while certainly most welcome. The ambition of “Holiday,” “Rodeo,” and “Panini” was only matched by their respective reaches — hundred of millions of views and counting.
But nothing could’ve prepared us for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The long-teased track is finally here, along with a video that is not easily summarized. But one scene — indeed, perhaps the most-traveled clip so far — involves Lil Nas X giving Satan a lap dance. Please enjoy.
The whole thing is celestial and dreamy, rich with wigs and costumes like Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and more than a little biblical as it complements the song’s exploration of queer love. LNX is the star, of course, playing numerous parts and embodying both the protagonists and antagonists. The entire odyssey culminates in the aforementioned lap dance in the bowels of hell, where the artist arrives after sliding down a stripper pole all the way down from the clouds.
LNX, posted a note, addressed to his teenage self, to social media that provides context about the song’s creation. “Dear 14-year-old Montero,” it begins, “I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised never to be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”
“You see this is very scary for me,” the note continues, “people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future.”
Check out the incredible video above.
- Lil Nas X