Finally, the wait is over! Lil Nas X has unveiled his debut album MONTERO today, and we’re beyond excited! Lil Nas X is known for his unapologetic presence everywhere he goes. He is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who became a radical icon for the queer community, and he deserves credit for his pioneering spiting in the queer pop realm.
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A few days ago, he announced the album’s release via Twitter by releasing the trailer and a message about how the process of crafting this album was like therapy for him. As seen in the trailer, Lil Nas X portrays multiple characters, some of which refer to his previous videos and implying they are related, thus confirming their existence.
Zane Lowe and Lil Nas X discussed his long-awaited full-length debut album MONTERO on Apple Music 1, and we learned a lot about the man behind the project. The renowned artist spoke candidly about becoming unapologetic and authentic, how he navigated his way through criticism, his evolution as an artist and public figure, and the importance of more queer artists to take the limelight, and much more. Watch below:
According to Lil Nas X, the internet has inspired him to become a musician since he realized how connected everything is and how nothing is truly out of reach. As a result, he was motivated to jump right in, and today, he has become a household name. Lil Nas X is one of the very few artists who know how to use social media effectively. He learned how to use it effectively for promotion and to voice his opinions. However, he understands that a great platform brings tremendous responsibility, so he chooses his battles carefully.
I guess I try to pick out the ones that I’m like, “Okay, here’s something to actually talk about.” Because if somebody just likes “trashy gay” there’s nothing there. But if somebody is like, “You’re pushing this and this is destroying Black men as a whole and emasculation,” actually, this is somebody who actually believes something versus just an insult. So it’s like, let me talk to this person because you never know whose mind is flickering. Because I’ve had a lot of views that I’ve changed within the last three years, you know?
Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X believes that he is constantly evolving as a human and as an artist. He does not want to be seen as a perfect hero who is never wrong or as someone who speaks for everyone. Therefore, he wants everyone to respect other people and their boundaries and speak up for themselves. In other words, we should be our own voices, as the power lies within each of us.
During his interview, Lil Nax X described music as an outlet to express himself and to have a greater purpose. Even with all the anxiety building with the tremendous success of his single ‘Old Town Road,’ or the loss of loved ones, he found his faith in the universe and realized he was not alone as he holds the power of music. Several well-known musicians have discussed mental health issues and have emphasized the healing power of music. Music alleviates stress and helps to soothe us. People agree that music can help us cope with stress, anxiety, depression and lift our spirits immediately.
When asked about how Doja Cat influenced him, Lil Nas X responded that she is one of his biggest inspirations after seeing her at the VMAs last year looking like a f**king star. From her music to her fitness routine to her videos, and her distinctive personality, she inspires him in all she does.
She’s funny. She’s a fun person. She takes things seriously, but doesn’t take things seriously. You know what I mean? She takes what she does seriously. You can tell she puts a lot of effort into everything she does, but she’s not going around like, “I am the best. I am the queen of everything.” And rightfully so, she could say that.
Lil Nas X
Lil Nax X also discussed his experience coming out, which he knew would shock some people. While we all enjoy discovering new artists and listening to their music, not everyone takes the time to learn more about them. While songs are often open to interpretation, for the artist, they hold a special meaning and may convey something they are not able to express verbally. Because of this, Lil Nas X feels a responsibility to make the extra effort to make sure his message gets across and is understood. As an artist who has battled with his identity and admitted it was something he was willing to keep secret, it’s imperative to recognize the strength it took to face the opposite!
With that said, he also hopes gay rappers will follow in the footsteps of female rappers. He feels that gay artists are usually confined within a box. As an artist, he aspires others to be as liberated, empowered, and recognized as the female rappers who are making waves in the music industry and carving out a niche for themselves. Years from now, he hopes that everyone receives that much-awaited recognition, no matter how they identify themselves.
Miley Cyrus is one of those people that Lil Nas X feels that they never even realize how impactful and much of a legend they are and what they have done and what they are still doing right now, even to this day has impacted people. Miley is someone he really admires because of how they are constantly changing and evolving. The musician also commented on his song ‘Am I Dreaming’ featuring Miley Cyrus from his album MONTERO, saying that the track symbolizes the ending. According to him,
The song is basically, let’s say you’re on a sinking ship. Everything is going down, or you’re dying basically, and you’re having all these thoughts about what everybody is going to feel. You can’t even settle in your own death. Your mind is like, “What’s everybody going to think? Am I going to be remembered? Am I going to be loved?” And then at the end, it’s like death, it’s the end of the album, it’s symbolizing the end of life.
Lil Nas X
The collaboration isn’t the only one that his album MONTERO will feature. He also discussed his collaborations with Elton John and Kanye West. Although they are not close, Elton has been incredibly supportive of the singer, and he was grateful to have a legend like Elton on the project. Lil Nax X, on the other hand, is captivated by Kanye West’s skills and talent. Interestingly enough, after playing his album to Kanye, the rapper suggested adding something to the song ‘Industry Baby’ that ended up being a fantastic addition that he is eager to share with everyone!
Stream/ purchase MONTERO here!
MONTERO is definitely on our to-play list for this weekend, how about you? We’re all set to be wowed by the magical performance by our favorite singer. Are you ready to be mesmerized? Have you listened to the album yet, and if so, which song is your favorite? Let’s keep the conversation going and let’s hear what you have to say in the comments below, or tweet us at @TheHoneyPOP!
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Featured Image Source and Key Quotes Credit: Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1
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Khushboo Malhotra works as a freelance journalist, digital marketing & media strategist, and content marketer featured in various global and national media publications and works alongside B2B, B2C, and eCommerce brands. A wide range of her work spans music and entertainment culture, sustainable lifestyle (including sub-niches), and SaaS. She enjoys writing novels and designing screenplays, grooving at concerts, or exploring new fashion and cuisines that tickle her taste buds when she is not working. Have a story? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org