With an album rollout spanning almost nine months, MONTERO and its progenitor Lil Nas have been some of the most talked-about subjects on the interweb. Whether it's the image of him giving a lap-dance to Satan eternally burned into our memories, sneaker lawsuits, twerking jailbirds, endless remixes and re-works, viral videos, countless clickbaits, a shock pregnancy, hilarious billboards and the layers of his Met Gala attire - there's nothing Lil Nas hasn't meme-ified. Spinning anything and everything to his favour.
It is a remarkable sign of the times that rapper/singer Lil Nas X has made it to a debut album at all. After the brilliantly catchy genre-bending of 2019's Old Town Road, singles like Panini and Holiday didn't live up to expectations, and he would have fallen out of favour there and then had it not been for his online persona. Surreal, self-effacing, meme-literate, he works social media with all the skill and naturality of a Gen-Zer who was a Nicki Minaj stan for most of his teens, and thus Lil Nas X was given the space he needed to develop his sound.
When Montero Lamar Hill burst onto the music scene as Lil Nas X in 2018 with "Old Town Road," his country-rap song about cowboys and horses, most people thought of him, like the track itself, as a funny passing fad, a meme that would eventually fizzle out, a one-hit wonder. But as his witty social media presence and elaborate music videos and visuals grew, so did his sound and talent. Two years later, Lil Nas X has finally given birth to a beautiful baby, and it shares a name with its parent: MONTERO.
There's one thing Lil Nas X's fans and haters can agree on: he's a pop star, not a rapper, a point made abundantly clear on his debut album MONTERO. But well into an era where rap is the most popular genre, that pop star sounds like the future of rap, or at least one path it could take. Lil Nas X barely raps on the album, singing about love, sex, his past, family, detractors who swore he was a one-hit wonder.
At the start, Lil Nas X courted controversy by accident. The Atlanta native seized the world's attention in 2019 with the country-rap juggernaut "Old Town Road," which country zealots tried to exile from the charts. Nas' success (and the several, increasingly bizarre remixes) made the complaints moot: After 19 stunning weeks, it took Billie Eilish, another burgeoning pop phenom, to finally dethrone him, and Nas' song remains Billboard's longest-running No.
Boasting features from Jack Harlow, Doja Cat, Elton John, Megan Thee Stallion, and Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X has not come to play on this album. Out today, the hugely anticipated Lil Nas X debut studio album 'MONTERO' has finally arrived, and it doesn't disappoint. Having released the mammoth lead pop single 'MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)' back in March, Lil Nas X has furthered his technicolored visuals, amplified his avant-garde aesthetic, and surpassed any expectations on this amazing album.