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The Controversy Behind Lil Nas X’s New Song and Music Video 

    

Within the world of rap music, Lil Nas X’s new song, Montero (Call Me By Your Name) has been making headlines. The song has been all the rage for fans of Lil Nas X; however, it has also become an anthem for those who are part of/are supporters of individuals who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Although, many people who do not support the LGBTQ+ community, saw the song as sinful. This is completely ridiculous, as the song has helped to create more of a platform for artists belonging to the LGBTQ+ community, to feel a safe space to be able to share their own identities and stories through their music. As historically, music discussing love has mainly focused on heterosexual couples, it is clear that this song has helped to normalize the discussion of same-sex couples within music, as well as offer LGBTQ+ representation for fans who identify with this community.  

 

Following the release of the song, Lil Nas X partnered with Genuis, to explain the meaning behind the lyrics. Lil Nas X decided to write the song to talk about his feelings that he was beginning to develop towards a friend. According to Genuis, with the actual lyrics themself, “the opening lines of the song, he said, track the literal interaction he had with the guy.” Throughout the song, he also incorporates lyrics that are considered to be “openly sexual.” Lil Nas X said that he did this in order “to be jarring, while also helping break a stigma around lyrics focused on queer lust.” Lil Nas X says that he wants to continue to make music that helps to bring a voice and representation to those within the LGBTQ+ community.  

 

The song has received criticism due to the fact that it includes sexual lyrics, as well as with the music video in particular, which makes a comment on religion. It is clear that Lil Nas X chose to incorporate religious elements into both the music video and song to criticize those who utilize specific passages within the Bible—a book that was written centuries ago when no one even truly knew what it meant to be apart of the LGBTQ+ community—to make a case for why they believe that identifying as this, is sinful.  It is clear that releasing this song and music video has not only helped to create a sense of freedom for Lil Nas X, but for his fans as well. In an article that was published by NPR, Ashon Crawley talks about how growing up, he consistently felt fear due to the various preachers that he came into contact with, who led to him believing that identifying with the LGBTQ+ community was wrong and would result in him going to hell. The music video itself incorporates the devil, in which, according to Crawley, “in the end, he slays the devil, refuses to live with the myth. In so doing, he overcomes the power others receive by attempting to coerce him to fear.” In the article, Crawley discusses how viewing Lil Nas X slay the devil in the music video, as well as listening to the song, have helped him in accepting his own identity and overcoming the fear that comes along with identifying as LGBTQ+, especially in a society where some of the population views this type of sexuality as “wrong.” It is clear that this song and music video have helped to create a platform and voice within the LGBTQ+ community to be able to have their own narrative represented within music. 

Nicole Idelson

Providence '22

Nicole Idelson is a Social Work major at Providence College. On campus, she is also a part of The Mental Health Awareness Board and Best Buddies. She has been involved in HerCampus since her freshman year at Providence College, and absolutely loves the club. Nicole also enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and eating avocado toast.
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