Country-rap star Lil Nas X inspired queer ideas in his debut album “Montero” now available on various streaming platforms this Friday.
The debut album, produced under Columbia Records, was led by singles “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” which references his romantic love for a man, and the collaboration “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow, a clap-back at haters of queer artists getting the spotlight in the music industry.
It featured rappers from the interlude track “The Art of Realization” to “Scoop” with Doja Cat and “Dolla Sign Slime” with Megan Thee Stallion.
In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Lil Nas X said it is empowering to see female artists in the genre and hopes to see new artists in the gender spectrum in the future.
“Just by looking around and seeing these other artists who are gay kind of just like pushed to like this box of this bowl of gay artists …I feel like, especially right now with female rappers, I feel like it’s so dope that that’s happening,” Lil Nas X said.
“We haven’t seen this like ever, so many female rappers are just killing it and I feel like a decade from now it’s going to be the same with gay rappers or any rappers like I feel like they’re going to be entire trans rappers and whatnot just killing it because why not,” he added.
Tracks like “Lost in the Citadel” narrated the struggles of LGBT relationships, while “That’s What I Want” fights for love regardless of gender.
Lil Nax X also shared his struggles with mental health and his career in “Void” and “Don’t Want It,” overcoming suicide in “Sun Goes Down,” and anxieties in “Dead Right Now,” “Tales of Dominica,” and “Life After Salem.”
The album also boasts collaborations with Elton John (“One of Me”) and Miley Cyrus (“Am I Dreaming,” reminiscent of his hit “Old Town Road” with her father Billy Ray Cyrus).
The final track with Cyrus reflects on how queer artists are forgotten and how he wants to create an impact and leave a mark in the future.
“There’s a lot of people like me that have come before me that I’ve seen like washed under the rug …Gay artists in general are a lot just swept under the rug and like no matter how much they’ve contributed,” he lamented.
Known for being a vocal member of the LGBT community, Lil Nas X rose to fame with his now-ubiquitous record-breaking megahit "Old Town Road" with Billy Ray Cyrus, which won him the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video in 2020.
The song broke the decades-old record for longest reign over the Billboard Hot 100, the industry's most closely watched singles chart, holding the spot for 19 weeks and fending off advances from pop juggernauts including Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
— with reports from Agence France-Presse