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March 26, 2021 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Billboard record breaking hip hop artist and queer pioneer Lil Nas X has just dropped the video to his seventh single, MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name). The release was accompanied by an emotional note to his 14 year old self.
posted by fight or flight (53 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
y’all love saying we going to hell but get upset when i actually go there lmao

QFT!

There are a lot of references in this incredible video but I would really like to know if the glowing eyes at the end are a reference to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler. Because that would be awesome.
posted by chavenet at 8:03 AM on March 26 [9 favorites]


I love it. Everything that's going on here. I wish I'd seen it when I was growing up, would have blown my little mind about what hip hop could be and who it was for.
posted by Braeburn at 8:03 AM on March 26 [14 favorites]


I know that hook already because for the last few months and especially in the last two weeks he's been making random funny TikToks that have it playing underneath.
posted by little onion at 8:13 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


and I mean this in the best possible way... the fuck was that?
posted by wotsac at 8:38 AM on March 26 [5 favorites]


i wish blizzard would hire lil nas x as the creative director for diablo 4.
posted by zsh2v1 at 8:40 AM on March 26 [23 favorites]


the fuck was that?

Reclaiming white classical cultural references with Black excellence and a side order of a big ol' "fuck you" to homophobes who act like you can't bottom for Satan in thigh high heels and still be a bestselling music artist.

I hope Pastor Troy is out there somewhere having a furious migraine over how beautiful this all is.
posted by fight or flight at 8:43 AM on March 26 [70 favorites]


I remember my conservative Christian church forbidding us from listening to Stairway to Heaven because of backwards masking and One Tin Soldier because the band was called Coven. I wonder what happens when the artist pole dances to hell, seduces Satan, kills him and grabs the crown? I love it. More is more.
posted by Cuke at 8:47 AM on March 26 [12 favorites]


Reclaiming white classical cultural references with Black excellence and a side order of a big ol' "fuck you" to homophobes who act like you can't bottom for Satan in thigh high heels and still be a bestselling music artist.

I get that part. But wow. It's a lot. All at once.
posted by wotsac at 8:48 AM on March 26


Its an absolute joy to see him thriving. His story could have gone very differently, as a young Black man who grew up in the projects, only to be thrust into the limelight, becoming the poster child for the debate on racism in country music, and then outed.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:51 AM on March 26 [19 favorites]


This made my year. Thank you Lil Nas X.
posted by travelingthyme at 8:55 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


You know, I'm happy he's just following his muse, from country music to straight up sci-fi. TAKE THAT, PEOPLE TRYING TO PIGEONHOLE A GENRE!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:08 AM on March 26 [12 favorites]


You know you've reached a certain queer age when a young artist releases a music video that involves a sliding down a stripper pole to fuck Satan and your primary response isn't "that's hot as hell" (even though it is) but instead "oh my god I'm so proud!"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:33 AM on March 26 [74 favorites]


That was a hell of a video -- Lil Nas X is a huge talent, and it's awesome to see what he's up to when he gets the budget to follow his vision.
posted by tclark at 9:36 AM on March 26


One of the recent YouTube comments is "This is so demonic. LORD FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEIR DOING."

I'm pretty sure he knows exactly what he's doing.
posted by Gorgik at 9:36 AM on March 26 [17 favorites]


Woo love this.

The thing that stood out to me is Lil Nas X is totally an enthusiastic bottom in this video. We're used to seeing sexual men in hip hop but they're always the top and of course 98% of it is heterosexual. But this isn't just a homosexual version of hip hop machismo sexual posturing. That leer he gives the camera at around 2:33 when he's riding the devil's cock (well, pretending to).. That is some seriously queer transgressive stuff. Love it.

I don't quite know who all Lil Nas X audience is but are they OK with their star being a voracious bottom? I sure hope so. My impression is most of straight America still sees a man being fucked as demeaning or emasculating.
posted by Nelson at 9:41 AM on March 26 [26 favorites]


I don't quite know who all Lil Nas X audience is but are they OK with their star being a voracious bottom?

Judging by the positive responses he's getting on social media: very much yes.

There's definitely a sizable femme queer following that's been excited about him since he started doing pastel cowboy realness after Old Town Road. This has just cemented him as an icon for power bottoms everywhere. I can't wait to see all of the drag/stripper lipsync videos tbh.
posted by fight or flight at 9:44 AM on March 26 [17 favorites]


If you go back a bit and watch the other stuff he's got a whole branding thing going on. I don't mean Doritos and Estee Lauder, I mean it looks like he's doing his own thing. Like that freaky head shape on the snake in the garden is on other characters in other videos, and there's a, like, c-shaped thing they keep flashing on... Is it some designer logo I don't know? Okay, all right, I'm too fashion- and popculture-illiterate to know wtf I'm talking about but I know I'm seeing a graphic identity or -ies across videos, here.

This one is just primo. The stripper pole to hell! And then turns out Satan's horns are basically a janky headband and you can just yank them off and plop them on your own head and assume the fallen angel role... oh, man, I love this kid so much.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:55 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


He wasn't "outed," was he? I seem to remember him coming out on his own terms on social media. I love his positivity and strength and honesty and humor.
posted by queensissy at 10:16 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


I count my brother's wedding a few years ago as one of the happiest days of my life because I love my sister-in-law and was so excited to see them surrounded by their loved ones and having a rip-roarin' party. I get a similar feeling watching Lil Nas X doing anything (tweeting, power bottoming Satan), because he just is so in love with himself and his own brand of charismatic weird. It's banana nut bread wonderful and funny.

Writing this out is all well and good, but what I'm really trying to get across is an even split between Leonardo DiCaprio toast and Louise Bluth GOOD FOR HER.
posted by snerson at 10:19 AM on March 26 [9 favorites]


Gives me a strong Ruby Rhod vibe without the massive ego. What a brilliant talent.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:35 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]




I'm also experiencing a lot of joy watching LNX speaking truth to power:
there is a mass shooting every week that our government does nothing to stop. me sliding down a cgi pole isn’t what’s destroying society.
We stan an icon.
posted by fight or flight at 10:50 AM on March 26 [58 favorites]


He wasn't "outed," was he? I seem to remember him coming out on his own terms on social media. I love his positivity and strength and honesty and humor.
posted by queensissy at 1:16 PM on March 26 [+] [!]


He did come out, only after rumors spread from people who knew him IRL and rumors online. If you read the "emotional note" link, he says there that he never originally wanted to be publicly out.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:05 AM on March 26


Knowing that Lil Nas X is gay (news to me, I'm out of touch) is going to be my consolation the next time my kids are singing that one line from Old Town Road over and over for an hour.

Also this video is queer as fuck and I don't quite know what to do about that. Celebrate! And also I'm amazed.
posted by medusa at 11:15 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


According to u/18hockey on r/hiphopheads:
The greek in the video at 1:11 is a reference to Plato's Symposium, specifically section 191a lines 5-6.

It reads:

ἐπειδὴ οὖν ἡ φύσις δίχα
ἐτμήθη, ποθοῦν ἕκαστον τὸ ἥμισυ

Which (my shitty translation) is:

"So in the beginning when they were cut in two, They yearned for each other’s half"

Which is a reference the original humans, who were supposedly connected like a wheel. Zeus feared of their power and cut them in two, so they were to wander the earth forever looking for their partner.

Edit: I also spotted Latin at 2:27. A much more common phrase: Damnant quod non intelligunt - They condemn what they do not understand.
posted by fight or flight at 11:18 AM on March 26 [24 favorites]


"Can't nobody tell me nothing... Can't tell me nothing."

"I'm gonna ride til I can't no more."

lightbulb.gif
posted by medusa at 11:30 AM on March 26 [21 favorites]


watching the three-eyed angel (?) lick his glittery stomach flashed me back to being a teen in the 90s when it was unthinkable for any mass-consumption media to be even a tenth this gay, not even the gay porn was this gay

like gayness wasn't allowed in mainstream culture & if you pushed the boundaries as far as a closed-mouth kiss, people flipped their entire pancake house, idk how I'd even explain to a current teen how oppressive & exhausting & heavy it all was

so yeah kinda blown away by this video on multiple levels (also the stripper pole sequence was cool af)
posted by taquito sunrise at 11:42 AM on March 26 [56 favorites]


LNX is, to me, the paradigmatic counter-example when someone says viral fame is all trash. we dont deserve him, a true icon.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:15 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Oh, I've been hearing this music constantly because I'm rewatching a multiseason show on the Roku channel, and the commercial with LNX and the song airs at least once per episode. It's the rare commercial I don't actually mind seeing over and over the way you do on streaming channels, even though it's an earworm I can't then get out of my head.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:36 PM on March 26


From his song Holiday: "I might bottom on the low, but I top shit". Link to Genius.com, for anyone you might know who somehow can't figure out what that means and needs it explained in exhaustive detail.
posted by true at 1:14 PM on March 26 [4 favorites]


Just sat down to watch this, and, well, holy shit is it great.

Anthony Oliveira: "the stripper pole from Heaven through the realms of Chaos and Old Night to Hell is entirely compatible with Miltonic theology tbh"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:24 PM on March 26 [6 favorites]


fight or flight I searched high and low* for this greek text, including attempting to transcribe it and put it in google translate, and did not come up with anything, but here I come to metafilter, cmd+f, 'greek', and lo! the answer! Thanks for this, this site remains an island of goodness. Also, this video is incredible and the note to his 14 yo self choked me all up.



*like three to five whole googles
posted by deadbilly at 1:46 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


This.Is.Great. So great! This was super fun and especially fun for me as a kinky person. Thanks for the post, fight or flight!
posted by Bella Donna at 1:52 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Well this could be a pretty surprising development for all the young families of kids who learned every word to Old Town Road. "Are you sure you spelled it right? That doesn't look like a horse."
posted by Cris E at 2:05 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


That section of Plato's Symposium about the people cut in half is a really sweet explanation for "soulmate" style love that explicitly includes couples made of two men and two women. That story plays a big part in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, including a full song and accompanying animated video which makes me cry every time I watch it. And here's a video of Neil Patrick Harris singing it out of costume.
posted by Nelson at 3:47 PM on March 26 [17 favorites]


Yes! I wouldn't be surprised if that's intentional, Nelson. I had the very considerable privilege of watching John Cameron Mitchell sing it live and it was one of the most moving things I've ever experienced.
posted by fight or flight at 4:15 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


I would really like to know if the glowing eyes at the end are a reference to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler.

Given that it's such an iconic queer touchstone and the angel wings feature in that video very prominently, that LNX is incredibly media savvy, that his video subverts a lot of classical white imagery, and that the Bonnie Tyler video takes place in a white-as-white-can-be rich boy prep/boarding school, I can't imagine it's not a simultaneous nod to and subversion of the video that helped a number of 80s boys realize they definitely weren't straight.
posted by treepour at 4:16 PM on March 26 [7 favorites]


Sometimes I think about how when I started high school less than 20 years ago it was literally illegal to have gay sex in like half the country and then I see something like this and I just. Have a lot of feelings.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:19 PM on March 26 [18 favorites]


I can't get over how overtly sexual this video is. It is not at all new for music videos to be overtly sexual, but they've always been hetero. I have never seen a gay mass-media music video that was this sexual. It's not even "cute dirty jokes" sexual, it's not toned down and painted in candy colors for heterosexual comfort, it's not romantic, it's serious and just . . . sex. I grew up in the 90s and didn't ever think anything like this could be made and celebrated. I can't imagine what LGBTQ+ people older than me feel like. Especially Black people. It's buck-wild.
posted by schroedinger at 7:16 PM on March 26 [14 favorites]


thirtysomething got shit for showing two men in bed next to each other. The rules were, you can show that, but they cannot touch. They had a conversation, and that's it. That show only aired once, and has never run in syndication (according to Melanie Mayron, whose character was the focus of that episode).

Granted, that was 1989. But still, wasn't expecting this, even these decades later.
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


I'm looking forward to hearing Billy Ray Cyrus's verse when the remix gets released.
posted by Umami Dearest at 9:02 PM on March 26 [11 favorites]


Genius News does a good job breaking down the song and the video today, along with comments from Roy Lenzo, the producer.
posted by Umami Dearest at 9:08 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


This video is amazing, and hadn't seen the note to his 14 year old self, thanks!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:02 PM on March 26


I can’t find the particular video right now, but there is footage of Billy Ray in the studio with Lil Nas X and his producers, and they’re listening to the playback of the OTR remix, and loving the fuck out of what they hear.

And Billy Ray turns to LNX and says something to the effect of
You’re gonna do great things, you’re gonna go foreward and change the world.”
And at the time, I was thinking
Oh, isn’t BRC a nice guy, giving the new artist who reached out to him some encouragment. I mean... this hit hard, but change the world is a lot. Still, Billy Ray is the polite Southern boy his momma raised him to be.
Then I watched this video.

And I can’t help but imagine Billy Ray sitting back, cracking a cold one, pulling his hat brim down over his eyes, and muttering
AHEM... I said “gonna change the world”...
before settling back into a self-satisfied sip of his beer.
Twice BRC has heard a demo, stood up to his feet, and said “That’s me; I want in on that”.

Twice, he’s been right.

You know he’s gonna drive the goddamn Maserati that Nas bought him in the remix video.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:28 PM on March 28 [4 favorites]


The whole Satan shoe thing is hilarious:

That brings us to the new spin-off controversy that came up today: Since the video’s release, Lil Nas X has announced that he’s going to be selling custom pairs of Satan Nikes like the ones in the video, limited to 666 pairs and featuring a real drop of human blood mixed in with red ink on the sole. People are inexplicably furious about that (including former NBA player Nick Young, who is banning “Old Town Road” from his home but isn’t sure if he’s mad enough to stop wearing Nikes), and enough people have apparently yelled at Nike now that Snopes had to investigate and figure out the actual origin of the shoes. It turns out that they are custom Nike Air Max 97s, but Nike itself was not involved in their creation.

From his official YouTube channel: Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe

Get behind me, Satan!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:18 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


flashed me back to being a teen in the 90s when it was unthinkable for any mass-consumption media to be even a tenth this gay

The 80s were gayer I think? I particularly remember the very horny original video for Relax; and the gaze in the swimming pool in Smalltown Boy; and TIL that both were directed by Bernard Rose:
“There were a lot of artists [in the ‘80s] who were gay but not open about it, like Boy George, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, Elton John — these people we now think have always been out, but they were not out in 1984. And they were all at the height of their fame. Frankie Goes to Hollywood were really the first ones who came out and said, ‘Well, yeah, we're gay.’ And it caused a shockwave, but it also didn't hurt them — it did the opposite. It propelled [“Relax”] to being huge.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:37 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe
I thought that was very effective and heartfelt.
posted by trig at 2:51 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Lil Nas X mocks everyone panicking over his new song, a collection of Twitter engagements.
Do you still see your dad?
yep and i might fuck yours
posted by Nelson at 9:11 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]








Official Video except its not the official video at all

Aw this is sweet. Lil Nas X is just a regular guy who lipsyncs and dances goofy along to his own song, too. Shout out to his bro at the computer wearing two crosses and a hat with the SpaceX logo.

This song has given me a lot of joy since it came out.
posted by Nelson at 8:10 AM on April 10


MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) [but ur in the bathroom of hell while lil nas is giving satan a lap dance in the other room]

"when u die before all of ur friends so u don't know anyone in hell yet and ur kinda awkward hiding in the bathroom"
posted by Don Pepino at 2:58 PM on April 10


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