It’s Lil Nas X’s world and we’re all simply dwelling in it.
Since seemingly popping out of nowhere to dominate the pop charts along with his record-setting “Old Town Road” in 2019, the 22-year-old rapper-singer has been shaking up the tradition, stirring up controversy and beginning up dialog — throughout social media and past — along with his boundary-pushing performances, type and statements.
And all this has been achieved by Lil Nas X — already a bonafide gay icon and pop provocateur — earlier than he even released his debut album, “Montero,” on Friday. Exhausting to imagine however sure, after releasing his 2019 “7” EP — which, regardless of its brevity, managed to snag an Album of the 12 months Grammy nomination anyway — that is LNX’s first correct LP.
His new video from the album — “That’s What I Need” — has already racked up almost 2.5 million viral video views because it dropped over evening. The sure-to-outrage clip encompasses a heady mixture of soccer, younger love, (secure) bathe intercourse, a “Brokeback Mountain” tenting journey, betrayal, boozing, and, sure, his now-infamous wedding dress makes an look, too.
Amid all of the outrageousness, the breakdown refrain hinges on the emotional lyric, “I would like — somebody to like me. I would like — somebody who wants me,” all set to a backbeat that’s reminiscent of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”
In fact, the album’s title comes from Lil Nas X’s actual title — Montero Lamar Hill — and “Montero (Name Be Your Title),” the flamenco-flavored single that went No. 1 earlier this yr. And that was adopted up by one other hit, “Business Child,” that includes one other younger rapper, Jack Harlow.
And, judging by the opposite A-list company on “Montero,” Lil Nas X has amassed some severe star energy. Massive names equivalent to Miley Cyrus (there’s a brand new video out for his or her duet, “Am I Dreaming,” too), Megan Thee Stallion (“Dolla Signal Slime”), Doja Cat (“Scoop”) and even the legendary Elton John (“Considered one of Me”) additionally present up for his coming-out get together.
And keen followers have been ready for Lil Nas X — who, in a gender-bending twist, has been putting a pregnant pose within the promotional marketing campaign — to lastly give delivery to “Montero” (which encompasses a nude Nas on its cowl).
Actually, one fan tweeted that “lil nas x carrying actual low, so I feel it’s a boy.” In the meantime, another fan tweeted in anticipation that “all that’s gonna play in my automotive is that this album proper right here IT WILL BE THE ONLY THING. #LilNasXGivesBirth @LilNasX I’m in love and haven’t even heard the whole lot.”
Suffice to say, that’s plenty of love for an artist earlier than his debut album had even dropped.
However Lil Nas X has been breaking the foundations since he determined to combine hip-hop with nation — and Miley’s dad, Billy Ray Cyrus — on “Previous City Highway,” which led the tune to prime the Billboard Scorching 100 for a history-making 19 weeks.
And in the midst of the “Previous City Highway” phenomenon, Lil Nas X did one thing even braver by popping out in June 2019 — throughout Homosexual Pleasure Month — regardless of being part of the notoriously homophobic hip-hop world.
This yr, LNX has been making extra daring strikes: In March, he launched his “Devil Sneakers,” a customized pair of black-and-red Nikes containing a drop of actual human blood. And he landed within the scorching seat once more for his “Montero (Call Me Your Name)” video, through which he rode a pole right down to hell and gave Devil himself a lap dance.
Lil Nas X continued to show up the homoerotic warmth on the season finale of “Saturday Evening Stay” in Could, though a wardrobe malfunction prevented him from going full “Hustlers” on everybody. After which he stripped down from a pink jail jumpsuit to his birthday go well with in his “Industry Baby” video.
Little question, Lil Nas X was one of the highlights of final Sunday’s MTV VMAs, performing a medley of “Business Child” and “Montero (Name Me By Your Title)” — the latter of which deservedly gained the highest Moon Particular person for Video of the 12 months. However LNX might barely have fun that victory earlier than he was again turning heads — and opening minds — on the purple carpet of the Met Gala Monday evening with three different looks that discovered him persevering with to problem the outdated beliefs of male pop-star sexuality and masculinity.
For Lil Nas X, it could have all began with “Previous City Highway,” however it has led to a brand new pop order.