Lil Nas X’s latest music video and song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” fully embrace his gay identity – though not everyone is fully embracing the Grammy-winning artist’s imagery choice.
Social media erupted following the video’s premiere Friday, which included sexually explicit biblical and Satanic imagery (he kills the devil, among other things). Fans celebrated the queerness in the video but others felt he went too far. Lil Nas X then took it a step further when he released “Satan Shoes” with streetwear company MSCHF. Nike is now suing MSCHF (but not the singer himself) over trademark infringement.
Lil Nas X enamored the world with his hit “Old Town Road” but has generated intense backlash with “Montero,” particularly from parents and religious people. He played into his kid-friendly image following the release of “Old Town Road,” releasing a children’s picture book called “C is for Country” and joking on Twitter he was putting his Grammys in the basement to make room for his Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards trophy.
But advocates say his critics are missing the bigger picture. They argue that in the video, Lil Nas X’s brave statement for Black queerness takes center stage – and it could change lives for the better.
“What Lil Nas X did was so significant, because not only do queer kids get to say, ‘Hey, there’s someone who looks like me out there.’ Black queer kids, and specifically Black queer boys and young men get to say ‘There is someone who looks like me,'” explains Alicia T. Crosby, a Black queer minister from Durham, North Carolina.