‘Montero’ is what I want


photo by Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO” was released on Sept. 17. The album is extremely well-written and has beautiful instrumentals.

From breaking Billboard records with country-rap song Old Town Road to coining the viral phrase “nah he tweakin,” singer-songwriter Lil Nas X is no stranger to surprising the world with bold and unusual music, videos and social media posts. He has quickly become a household name, confounding the media with pregnancy photoshoots and forever changing the mainly heterosexual rap industry. 

Released Sept. 17, Lil Nas X’s debut album Montero is a stunning blend of storytelling, instrumentals and vocals. It offers a diverse set of emotions while still providing the energetic feel of most rap albums. 

Montero largely expresses Lil Nas X’s views on the pressing matters of LGBTQ+ acceptance and ending racism. The first song, Montero (Call Me By Your Name) challenges the idea that homosexuality is a sin. The controversial song gives the overall vibe and message of the album while also having a captivating beat. 

Sun Goes Down, the second released single from the album, accounts for Lil Nas X’s childhood struggles with Christianity as a gay person of color. The lyrics read, “Was I too dark? Could they sense my fears? / These gay thoughts would always haunt me / I prayed God would take it from me.” Not only is the song passionate and beautiful, but it has a compelling message that undoubtedly tugs at listeners’ heartstrings. The album has the power to truly speak to anybody who listens to it – not just a select few. Finding rap albums that touch on topics other than drugs, violence and sex is rare, which makes Montero all the better, though these themes do appear. Throughout the album, Lil Nas X goes deeper with his lyricism than most artists in the genre. 

The album is divided into two distinct parts: the positive and the negative. The first nine tracks are more upbeat and fun, but by Tales of Dominica, the mood takes a sharp turn and becomes darker. A typical album keeps the same attitude throughout, so the contrast that Montero offers is refreshing. It has a song for any emotion possible, making it a perfect everyday listen.

Perhaps the best aspect of Montero is the strong use of instruments and bass. Industry Baby (feat. Jack Harlow) begins with a catchy, exciting brass introduction that carries throughout the rest of the song. It is the ultimate hype song and confidence booster. Scoop (feat. Doja Cat) has an addicting beat that is perfect for dancing and jumping around a room, and One of Me (feat. Elton John) has a lovely, dream-like piano theme. Lil Nas X avoided the harsh and loud nature of most rap, giving the album a more contemporary feel. It has a little bit of everything and is not limited to one repetitive style. 

Although Montero is a beautifully crafted album, it does fall short in a few places. Lost in the Citadel sounds like a Christian rock song, which is ironic, to say the least. It may not be the greatest, but it details a one-sided, emotionally draining relationship, the lyrics reading “I need time to get up and get off the floor / I need time to realize I can’t be yours / I need time to give up just like before.” Lil Nas X’s lyrics do not fall short, even in the album’s worse songs. His strength as a songwriter is incredible, and it shows in every single track. 

To say that Montero is an exceptional album would be an understatement. It is rare for a debut album to become so prevalent, but once again, Lil Nas X broke boundaries. Expect to hear Montero taking over radio stations for a long time to come, but until it does, get ahead of the game and put it on repeat.