Lil Nas X dropped wild new video and ‘Montero’ debut album overnight

It’s Lil Nas X’s world and we’re all just living in it.

Since seemingly coming out of nowhere to dominate the pop charts with his record-setting “Old Town Road” in 2019, the 22-year-old rapper-singer has been shaking up the culture, stirring up controversy and starting up conversation — all over social media and beyond — with his boundary-pushing performances, style and statements.

And all this has been accomplished by Lil Nas X — already a bonafide gay icon and pop provocateur — before he even released his debut album, “Montero,” on Friday. Hard to believe but yes, after releasing his 2019 “7” EP — which, despite its brevity, managed to snag an Album of the Year Grammy nomination anyway — this is LNX’s first proper LP.

His new video from the album — “That’s What I Want” — has already racked up nearly 2.5 million viral video views since it dropped over night. The sure-to-outrage clip features a heady mix of football, young love, (safe) shower sex, a “Brokeback Mountain” camping trip, betrayal, boozing, and, yes, his now-infamous wedding dress makes an appearance, too.

Amid all the outrageousness, the breakdown chorus hinges on the emotional lyric, “I want — someone to love me. I want — someone who needs me,” all set to a backbeat that’s reminiscent of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X rocked the red carpet at the BET Awards in June.
Getty Images for BET

Of course, the album’s title comes from Lil Nas X’s real name — Montero Lamar Hill — and “Montero (Call Be Your Name),” the flamenco-flavored single that went No. 1 earlier this year. And that was followed up by another hit, “Industry Baby,” featuring another young rapper, Jack Harlow.

And, judging by the other A-list guests on “Montero,” Lil Nas X has amassed some serious star power. Big names such as Miley Cyrus (there’s a new video out for their duet, “Am I Dreaming,” too), Megan Thee Stallion (“Dolla Sign Slime”), Doja Cat  (“Scoop”) and even the legendary Elton John (“One of Me”) also show up for his coming-out party.

And eager fans have been waiting for Lil Nas X — who, in a gender-bending twist, has been striking a pregnant pose in the promotional campaign — to finally give birth to “Montero” (which features a nude Nas on its cover).

Lil Nas X performing
Lil Nas X performing “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on the May season finale of “Saturday Night Live.”
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In fact, one fan tweeted that “lil nas x carrying real low, so I think it’s a boy.” Meanwhile, another fan tweeted in anticipation that “all that’s gonna play in my car is this album right here IT WILL BE THE ONLY THING. #LilNasXGivesBirth @LilNasX I’m in love and haven’t even heard everything.”

Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X
Lil Town X performed “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus at the 2020 Grammys.

Suffice to say, that’s a lot of love for an artist before his debut album had even dropped.

But Lil Nas X has been breaking the rules since he decided to mix hip-hop with country — and Miley’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus — on “Old Town Road,” which led the song to top the Billboard Hot 100 for a history-making 19 weeks.

And in the middle of the “Old Town Road” phenomenon, Lil Nas X did something even braver by coming out in June 2019 — during Gay Pride Month — despite being a part of the notoriously homophobic hip-hop world.

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X at the 2019 American Music Awards
FilmMagic for dcp

This year, LNX has been making more bold moves: In March, he released his “Satan Shoes,” a custom pair of black-and-red Nikes containing a drop of real human blood. And he landed in the hot seat again for his “Montero (Call Me Your Name)” video, in which he rode a pole down to hell and gave Satan himself a lap dance. 

Lil Nas X continued to turn up the homoerotic heat on the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” in May, although a wardrobe malfunction prevented him from going full “Hustlers” on everyone. And then he stripped down from a pink prison jumpsuit to his birthday suit in his “Industry Baby” video.

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X stripped down to a sparkly jumpsuit at the Met Gala on Monday night.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

No doubt, Lil Nas X was one of the highlights of last Sunday’s MTV VMAs, performing a medley of “Industry Baby” and “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” — the latter of which deservedly won the top Moon Person for Video of the Year. But LNX could barely celebrate that victory before he was back turning heads — and opening minds — on the red carpet of the Met Gala Monday night with three different looks that found him continuing to challenge the old ideals of male pop-star sexuality and masculinity. 

For Lil Nas X, it may have all started with “Old Town Road,” but it has led to a new pop order.


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