Lil Nas X uses new music to spread important messages


Kaitlyn Schechter, Contributing Writer

On Sept. 17, rapper Lil Nas X released his first full-length studio album, Montero.  He released the 15-song album with Columbia Records, and has since received rave reviews from fans and critics alike.  

Lil Nas X is well known for his song “Old Town Road”, which dropped at the end of 2018.  This hit song won two Grammys and broke a record for being number one on the charts for the longest time in history.  After 19 weeks of his song being at number one, many suspected he would be a one-hit wonder, but his recent album has proved otherwise.

“I thought that he would only have one hit song but recently he’s made a really great comeback,” says freshman Ryann Engel. 

Lil Nas X, or Montero Lamar Hill, is a 22-year-old rapper and songwriter.  After rising to fame in 2018, he began using his platform to generate conversations about black queerness and dismantling homophobia in hip-hop.  

“Even though it’s not my usual genre of music, I really appreciate how he’s speaking up about eliminating toxic masculinity from the music industry,” said freshman Eva Franchetti.

He continuously calls out others on social media and works towards creating a more inclusive industry.  Lil Nas X also speaks on the pressure he feels being an out queer artist.

“Mentally, it’s really draining and straining sometimes.  The pressure of living your entire life knowing the identity of what a rapper is supposed to be, what rappers do, and going out there in front of all these people, it’s terrifying,” said Lil Nas X in an interview with Out.

Three singles that were released before the album was out, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” “Sun Goes Down,” and “Industry Baby.”  In total there are 15 songs on this album.  He collaborated with other artists on five songs, including Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cirus, Doja Cat, Jack Harlow, and Elton John. 

Some songs have important messages to Lil Nas X, such as “Sun Goes Down.”   The song details his own experience with depression.  In the video, he goes back to high school to visit a younger version of himself that’s struggling with bullying and tries to help him.  He says that this song is very special to him.  Fans have applauded Lil Nas X for opening up and being so vulnerable  with his lyrics and his  visual storytelling in videos.  Many fans also can relate to how he feels in the song and are reassured knowing that a celebrity could feel the same way as them.

“In the “Sun Goes Down” video, I go back in time to visit a younger version of myself who’s struggling inside, hating himself, and doesn’t want to live anymore.  I try my best to uplift him. I can’t wait to share this song and video with you guys on friday.  This one is really special to me”, said Lil Nas X in a tweet.

People all over social media have been praising the album.  People appreciate his creativity and how he pushes the boundaries in his songs, videos, social media presence, and fashion.  

“I didn’t really know much about him until he appeared on Saturday Night Live, but his performance was hilarious and now I watch his videos,” said freshman Helena Franchetti. 

In the opening week alone it had over 147 million streams.  He generated a lot of attention on social media by releasing a fake pregnancy photoshoot.  The purpose was to announce the birth of his “little bundle of joy,” Montero.  Fans are astonished at all the creativity and build up to the album and look forward to more music from the artist. Many say that Lil Nas X has forever changed pop music and is dismantling homophobia in hip-hop.