Lil Nas X could have so easily been a one hit wonder after Old Town Road, but that notion was quickly disproven when he continuously dropped hit after hit leading up to his debut album Montero that dropped Friday.
If you’re going to talk about the album, you also have to talk about the marketing strategy he used leading up to it. For a few weeks now, the rapper has been using a prosthetic pregnancy belly in all of his Tik Tok videos and Twitter posts. His baby is the album. About an hour before the album dropped he uploaded a video to his Youtube page where he was giving a fake interview counting down his favorite music videos where he was the host and the audience.
At the end of the interview he released his newest music video, That’s What I Want, and his water broke. The water breaking led you to his next upload where he gives birth to the album. The music video he released is amazing. The song is basically talking about how he wants someone to love him and the music video is showing a love story between him and this “someone,” but at the end (spoiler) the guy he has been falling in love with is married to a woman and they have a child.
Now, to the songs. I am going to assume most of my readers have heard the main singles off the album and I don’t need to dive too deep into their reviews.
MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)
The album starts with the title track MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name). This song caused so much controversy from the music video where he pole dances his way into hell, to the Nikes with his blood in them. Even compared with all the other songs on this album, it’s still one of my favorites. I love how he opens the song and the album with unapologetically gay lyrics.
DEAD RIGHT NOW
I think this is definitely the most aggressive song on the album, but at the same time it gives the listener insight into the fact this album isn’t going to be all fun, upbeat songs. In this song he talks about how in the beginning of his career he was really struggling with making it in the industry and he also touches on his difficult relationship with his mother.
INDUSTRY BABY ft. Jack Harlow
Another one of his singles with an accompanying music video that caused some controversy. He released this music video of him having the time of his life in jail, after being named in a lawsuit by Nike. My friend said that Jack Harlow’s verse on this song could’ve just been “no homo” and the song would’ve been the same. Maybe I agree a little bit.
THAT’S WHAT I WANT
Favorite song alert: I love this song so much. Every time I hear this song I get really close to blowing out my speakers. This song is all about how Lil Nas X just really wants a guy who will love him and how hard it is to find a relationship as a gay man, especially when you have to figure out whether they want you for you or for your clout.
THE ART OF REALIZATION
This is just an interlude, like 24 seconds of him talking. I’ve never been a fan of these but I’ll be honest, I’m glad he didn’t try to follow the last song with this next song.
SCOOP (ft. Doja Cat)
This song is alright, but following the past few songs it wasn’t giving what it needed to give, and that broke my heart. I love Doja but I think she needed a longer verse, but at the same time I feel like this entire song was structured around her verse? The song is basically about how he’s just trying to bleep if you get my drift. This song made me realize that I think my favorite songs on here don’t have features.
ONE OF ME (ft. Elton John)
I thought this was going to have Elton John singing on it, but he’s playing piano. The song is written or sung from the perspective of everyone who wanted to see him fail, with the chorus and title of the song alluding to the idea that everyone who wants him to fail is a failure themselves.
LOST IN CITADEL
Another one of my favorite songs. This song absolutely feels like a song you’d listen to when you’re in the final stages of healing from a break up. I wish I knew more about melodies and technical music things because then maybe I could describe how beautiful this song is.
DOLLA SIGN SLIME (ft. Megan Thee Stallion)
I feel sort of the same about this song as I do with Scoop, except Megan’s verse absolutely kills. As soon as she does her little giggle I know it’s about to be amazing. I hate to say Lil Nas X’s verses on this song pale in comparison.
TALES OF DOMINICA, SUN GOES DOWN, VOID
I have to put these songs together because there’s a reason they’re back to back to back on the album. You have to listen to these songs together. They’re all about the different struggles he has faced to get where he is. These are absolutely the saddest songs on the album and they culminate with Void, the saddest one. They also cement the fact my favorite songs on this album don’t have features.
DON’T WANT IT
This song makes me feel super proud of Lil Nas X just as a fan. It touches on his success through clips of people announcing his award and chart success. The song also touches on how he is overcoming his suicidal thoughts he has had in his past, “tell the reaper he don’t want it, he don’t want it, oh I know everything’s gonna be alright.”
LIFE AFTER SALEM
The opening of this song feels like a throwback to Lost in the Citadel where he sang about getting over a relationship, but now he’s back in the thralls of it. The guitar and his vocals in this songs are really powerful and raw.
AM I DREAMING (ft. Miley Cyrus)
This is the only song where I feel like him and the featured artist worked together. Like most of the songs on this album this song is up to interpretation. He could be saying “never forget me and everything I’ve done” to this lover he has previously mentioned or to us, the listeners.
I choose to think he’s talking to us never forgetting what he’s done for the industry by being so open and unapologetic about his sexuality and style, hopefully leading the way for others to do the same with less blowback. Miley and Lil Nas X compliment each other really well and this is an amazing song to end the album with.
Overall, this album is at least an 8/10, at least. I really do think this is album of the year material.