Lil Nas X Montero Is Here
On his debut album “Montero”, Lil Nas X lets us catch a glimpse behind his queer internet persona – and thus creates a pop album with heart and soul, without forgetting the troll part.
Lil Nas X releases are like a little happening every time: It’s this kind of unpredictability, this anticipation for a spectacle that always seems to surpass itself. What did Montero Lamar Hill do again? Who has he trolled again now? His art lives from this shock provocation on the one hand, and the admiration and role model function on the other: A black, gay pop star who deals so openly with his sexuality, who wears a lilac Versace dress at the MTV Music Awards shows up or promotes Uber Eats in a brightly colored feather suit with Elton John? It has never happened in this way before. He packs this fact into well-produced pop songs with catchy hooks, legendary videos and lots of meme content.
From internet troll to musician
Because of this, it has been more than difficult for me to imagine a Lil Nas X album in the last few weeks. This Nicki Minaj-Stan who hung out in the depths of the internet 16 to 18 hours a day and then, out of nowhere, set the record for most weeks with cowboy boots and a $ 30 YouTube beat full of vigor broke the top of the Billboard charts, is this Lil Nas X set to release an entire album? (Whereby, if you take a closer look: His success wasn’t that “out of the blue”.
He had already uploaded songs to the Soundportal several times and tweeted them – decorated with memes – to do it with a bit of skill and a lot of algorithm luck to land a viral hit. With “Old Town Road” he finally succeeded). What should an album sound like by someone who has so far built their success on singles that stand for themselves as a provocative, tongue-in-cheek work of art?
The performance was made even more difficult because with the EP “7”, which he shot back in 2019, he made a superficial attempt to further spin the success.
The outcome was downright panned by critics. An excerpt: “The EP ends up being a set of nothingness, like watching a Kylie Jenner vlog, content made for the sake of justifying its existence”. So can a Lil Nas X ‘album – apart from the terrific promotion that trumps almost everything we have ever seen – have any added value for us? The answer is: yes, it can, and how. “Montero”, the album finally turns the internet phenomenon “Lil Nas X” into a real, tangible person – with ups and downs.