Every hot girl summer needs an anthem. This year’s: "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" by Lil Nas X. The song has everything: a catchy beat, a chorus perfect for belting in the car, and a campy music video (that is commonly hated by older generations). While I wasn’t the biggest fan of "Old Town Road," I have been shamelessly playing "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" on repeat. It’s easy to sing along to, gets stuck in my head frequently, and provides a much-needed confidence boost at the end of this semester. At first glance, it’s your stereotypical meaningless pop song with enough vulgarity for anyone to clutch their chest aghast, but the deeper meaning is especially relevant. [bf_image id="bk3hbw9s3f5vmkwx8cgknfq"]
In recent years, there have been considerable strides for the LGBTQ+ community, legally and socially; however, popular culture’s “acceptance” of the queer community can lack depth. Even older generations laude over Beyonce’s award-winning Lemonade and blast "Partition" for the vibes. So why is there such controversy over MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)? The nuanced expression of art by Lil Nas X in the music video does possess an inherently sensual quality, but no more so than the content of any other straight artists making it big right now. Lil Nas’ exploration into a typically female dominated subdivision of music is being met with apprehension because of his push against traditional gender and sexuality roles. [bf_image id="4m2gpscr9c3q7ggsxbjzpq"] The imagery of the video mixed with lyrics like “You live in the dark, boy, I cannot pretend / I'm not phased, only here to sin / If Eve ain't in your garden, you know that you can / Call me when you want” reject and transform religious and social norms of heterosexuality and acceptance. There are so many levels to the artistry Lil Nas put forth and the courage to let himself be judged like that.
That, I think, embodies all we could want for our hot girl summer post-COVID-19.