MONTERO(Call Me By Your Name)


Aiden Berkley

“What a time, an incline, God was shining on me” is a line from Lil Nas X’s newest hit song with a video included “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name).” The music video gained over a million streams on YouTube as well as  trending #1 on YouTube and reaching #1 on the billboard chart. Throughout this song, the superstar rapper expresses how he has come to terms with society’s reaction towards his sexuality and his struggle to get to the position he is currently in.

The song is quite beautiful and consists of catchy, captivating melodies that hook the listener in, making them want to listen over and over again. The video, however, raises controversy within people’s religious beliefs. The video starts off innocently where Lil Nas X is shown sitting in Eve’s Garden under the apple tree. He is then tempted by a serpent who is portrayed to be his lover, another man.

At first, the rapper attempts to run from the snake but is not fast enough. The serpent ultimately catches up to him and tempts Lil Nas X by kissing him. This is very similar to the story in the bible “Eve’s Temptation” where Eve was also tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit despite being told not to. The two correlate since Lil Nas X has been told all his life that being in love with the same gender is wrong, and he will be sent to hell if he did so. 

The video then transitions to a scene where he is held in a court for kissing another person of the same sex. Given the scenery of the video it appears that the setting would be in the early ages. Lil Nas X is surrounded by hundreds of people in a stadium where he is in front of “judges” and is sentenced to death.

This is where the controversy between those who are religious and those who believe in LGBTQ+ rights begins. As Lil Nas X is being brought up to heaven, he is suddenly sent to hell in an exotic dancer’s outfit, riding down a strippers pole to greet a figure that is portrayed to be Satan. At the end of the video Lil Nas X is dancing on Satan in a sexual way which symbolizes that he is going to accept his sexuality no matter what. The video shows a lot of self expression in the rapper and symbolizes that he is not afraid to show people who he really is. 

A senior at Terra Linda High School says “I think that Montero (Call Me By Your Name) was a banger of a song that had a captivating music video. I have no problem with how Lil Nas X expressed himself, and I would go as far as to say that the less accepting reactions of some people are analogous to the receivable of WAP. The subject matter may have been different, but at the end of the day, each song had a very prominent element about empowerment of one’s sexuality. I also think that a lot of people are very uptight about how they perceive artists. The people who had a problem with the portrayal of Satan in Lil Nas X’s music video and the “Satan Shoes” that were released took the artistic expression literally. If you watched his music video and only took away that Lil Nas X wants to f*** Satan, then you are very wrong. Having heard the quintessential “if you are LGBTQ+ you are going to hell” millions of times from hundreds of people, I think that the outrage shown by those same people at Lil Nas X portraying himself in.” 

Within the 24 hour period that the music video was released, it angered many. To this day there is still no resolution, Nas X still receives lots of hate for being gay. This video upset a lot of homophobic people as well as others who are against love between the same sex. Lil Nas X has experienced an immense amount of negative comments regarding his “coming out” in 2019.

 A lot of those comments suggested that he was going to hell for being gay and included multiple death threats. The interesting and powerful music video symbolizes Lil Nas X’s feelings towards that group of people as well as giving them his response to what they are saying. He simply does not mind being gay, even if that means he has to go to hell just for being who he is.