Sex and satan

Lil Nas X shakes the nation with ‘Montero’

Anya Grondalski, Staff Writer

The new hit song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” has sparked controversy after its release on March 26. Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, is a 21-year-old artist facing heat for the satanic symbolism in his song’s music video, which now has over 80 million views.

The video features Lil Nas X kissing an alien man dressed in a dramatic feminine costume. Lil Nas X then pole dances into Hell to give Satan a lap dance before snapping the devil’s neck and stealing his horns.

Lil Nas X explained the meaning behind the song on the Genius’ “Verified” YouTube series. Inspired by the 2017 film “Call Me By Your Name,” Lil Nas X said it was one of the first gay films he had ever watched.

“I thought the theme was so dope,” Lil Nas X said. “Calling somebody by your own name is love, keeping the love between you two.”

Even the humming section after the chorus carries its own symbolic meaning as a “mating call,” referencing when you “talk without saying anything,” Lil Nas X said.

Americans have a historic tendency to disgrace all references to the devil in pop culture as we saw with Lady Gaga’s song “Judas,” which depicts her falling for the man that betrayed Jesus. Controversies like these stretch as far back as Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” video, where she is seen kissing a saint and dancing in a field of burning crosses.

It’s not uncommon for parents to blame celebrities for influencing their children. We saw this in the ’90s when rock and roll music meant one’s child had turned to worship the devil. In a more modern context, we see the outrage that swept the nation following the release of Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s song W.A.P. But, Lil Nas X responded as most other artists do to these opinions — reminding parents that it’s not his job to raise their children.

It’s not only online trolls attacking Lil Nas X for the new release. Athletes Nick Young and Trevor Lawrence have been outspoken about their disapproval with the song and Lil Nas X’s new associated shoe.

The rapper collaborated with MSCHF, the same company that made the 2019 “Jesus Shoes” (supposedly filled with holy water), to make Satan shoes following the release of his new song. At the price of $1,108, the sneakers are filled with 60 CC’s of red ink and one drop of human blood. Nike reported that people are boycotting the brand for its association with Satan. In response to the release, Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF.

Nike also filed a restraining order against the art collective. However, the lawsuit was deemed irrelevant by MSCHF who reported that all 666 pairs of the shoes sold out in one minute and were already shipped.

“Who is Nike to censor one but not the other?,” MSCHF said in a statement to CBS News.

While many people are attacking Lil Nas X, he is still has a wide support across the internet. Other artists have been uplifting him for the culture-shocking song.

“I’m so excited for the explosion @LilNasX has created w his video,” Adam Lambert tweeted. “It’s been a long time coming…It’s challenging and symbolic and pushes buttons. How refreshing.”

Additionally, actress Elizabeth Banks posted a side by side of her character Effie Trinket from the Hunger games next to a character in Lil Nas X’s music video, both with similar attire and hair styles with the caption “Honestly, thrilled. @LilNasX you do you #montero.”

Lil Nas X tweeted the following Saturday in response to the backlash, explaining the issues he had with his sexuality throughout his life and what the song means to him after finally coming out. He also reminded people that there are bigger issues to be concerned about than his video.



“(T)here is a mass shooting every week that our government does nothing to stop,” Lil Nas X tweeted. “me sliding down a cgi pole isn’t what’s destroying society.”

Although parts of the music video did make me uncomfortable, I don’t think it falls on any artist to apologize or filter their creations. Parents are responsible for filtering the media their children consume. References to satan in society should be considered the same as godly influence in society.