Lil Nas X sat down with Genius this week to explain the true meaning behind the lyrics of his new track Montero.
21-year-old American rapper and singer-songwriter Lil Nas X has been a hot topic of conversation on social media following the release of his new track Montero (Call Me By Your Name).
The music video has received a lot of backlash over its religious and satanic imagery, but do you know what the meaning behind the song actually is?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Lil Nas X explains the meaning behind ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’
On March 29th, Genius released a video with Lil Nas X where he went through his new track Montero line by line and explained exactly what it means.
The rapper revealed that he wrote the song the day after he went to visit a guy who he realised he “liked a lot”. So, the song is essentially all about a day that he spent with this mystery guy and the interactions they shared.
However, it’s also a tribute to his 14-year-old self, as his real name is Montero Lamar Hill. In an Instagram post, he said:
“Dear 14-year-old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”
Lil Nas X was keen to make sure that the track sounded like the was telling a story, not like something that had just happened to him the day before.
“It was like so super literal and was something that had just occurred the day before and I was like okay how do I make sure I’m telling this as if it were a story,” he said.
He also revealed that his encounter with this guy was the first time he had properly interacted with someone socially since the start of the pandemic.
“It was really scary because when Covid first started, I was completely shook. I didn’t even let family and friends come around me because I get really scared with that kind of s***. But it was really dope going out and seeing actual humans and having human interaction,” he said.
‘Montero’ discusses getting lost within party culture
Another key theme within Montero is the idea that as a celebrity, it might seem like you are always having fun, but it’s easy to get lost within party culture.
He described how when he got to the guy’s house, there was lots of drugs and alcohol that he took part in and said:
“It seems as if they’re spiralling and it’s like okay you’re having fun but I feel like your life is not where it needs to be, I guess. Because especially in Hollywood, the party culture is like ‘we’re all having fun’, ‘we’re all excited’ but it’s like sometimes it sucks you up so much that people get lost.”
“I’m not going to lie I’ve definitely fallen into that trap a couple of times and every now and again I like to just say f*** it, I’m feeling crazy, at least for this week. But once the week is over with, it’s like damn, was it worth it? Did I really need to do that? Am I any happier? Nah,” he continued.
He also explained how some of the more sexual lyrics were put in there on purpose to “normalise” it and create more representation for queer people within mainstream music.
‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a tribute to the 2017 movie
As for ‘Call Me By Your Name’, the title pays tribute to the 2017 romantic drama movie of the same name.
The movie focuses on the romantic relationship between 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), and Oliver, 24, (played by Armie Hammer), who is an assistant to Elio’s father.
Speaking to Genius, he said:
“I watched that movie around the exact same time, it was like everything just lined up for the song to be created. And that was one of the first gay films I had watched, and I thought the theme was so dope of like calling somebody by your own name as in trying to keep it between you two.”
“It takes you to another world. The way everything is shot, the way the dialogue goes on, the way the background sounds are used, everything about it is so artsy and I was like wow this is more than just that,” he continued.