"In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don't want the world to see,” The words in Lil Nas X's long awaited single MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” say. “We lock them away, we tell them no, we banish them. But here… we don't.”
In a music video rife with undeniable sexiness and obscure biblical references, Lil Nas X dives immediately into the subtext of what it feels like to grow up queer in conservative and religious communities. The 21-year-old Georgia musician has been teasing his exploration of the topic in the new single for some time now, and it couldn't have been executed more endearingly if he'd tried.
The video opens with a peaceful looking Lil Nas X strumming on his guitar in a CGI-style garden of eden before he is seduced by a snake-like form. The seduction morphs into a palace setting where Nas X is chained up and stoned to death, plunging via a never-ending stripper pole into the depths of the underworld, clad in thigh-high latex boots and Calvin Klein underwear where he meets a devil-like daddy in leather bondage gear and seemingly gives him the lap dance of his life before snapping his neck and taking his satanic crown.
It's beautiful chaos, and a very clear commentary on how young queer children and teens grow up being told that being their true selves will result in being sent to hell by conservatives. A notion that Lil Nas X is assuring folks that he is fine with if it means he gets to live authentically.
Controversy has of course been spiked amongst hysterical right-wing and conservative groups calling the video offensive, demonic and immoral, which Lil Nas X has rightfully brushed off with a series of both poignant and laughable tweets. Watch the full video, and see the best of the tweets, below.