Dear Montero, Lil Nas X Has Called Your Name With Love

Montero (Call Me By Your Name) (2021)
Montero (Call Me By Your Name) (2021)
Screenshot: Lil Nas X/YouTube

Call Lil Nas X by his name.

On Thursday night, the 21-year-old artist born Montero Lamar Hill debuted his new single and accompanying music video, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

Montero (Call Me By Your Name) / Lil Nas X (YouTube)

“We hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want the world to see. We lock them away. We tell them ‘no.’ We banish them. But, here? We don’t,” says Lil Nas X in voiceover as the video opens.

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The visuals are stunning, with clear themes of Christianity—and Lil Nas X’s direct critique and challenge of it as he continues to blossom in his queerness.

Along with the gorgeous video, Lil Nas X also posted a letter to his 14-year-old self on social media.

“I wrote a song with our name on it,” Lil Nas X’s letter starts. “It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised never to 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. You see, this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda is to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be. Sending you love from the future.”

Perfect. In all of its vulnerability, truth, love, embracing...this letter is Lil Nas X. This is Montero. This moment is his.

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As for the song, if that tune sounds familiar, it’s because that’s what was playing in the background of his brilliantly trolling TikTok aimed at Tekashi69 and his blatant homophobia.

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Listen. The levels of Lil Nas X’s trolling (with a message!) are unmatched.

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Lil Nas X’s display of self-love in “Montero” was significant enough on its own, so when the outpouring of love and support of fans and peers alike started flooding the timeline in response, it was… beautiful.

“Lil Nas X’s authenticity is generations in the making,” transgender rights activist, writer and 2020 The Root 100 honoree Raquel Willis tweeted.

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“You’re doing lil Montero (and the world) proud,” Jackée Harry wrote.

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Word.

We send love to 14-year-old Montero. We send love to 21-year-old Montero. We send love to Lil Nas X. We send love to all of the “Monteros” who have now heard their name called by this beautifully affirming song and video. We call you by your name...with love.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

feministonfire
FeministOnFire

Wow, this video is visually arresting! Calls back beautifully to Wakanda and T’Chaka’s vision sequences. And the song has definite fun summer vacation vibes to it. I don’t know the exact definition of reggaeton but I’ve been welcomed and had a good time whenever I’ve heard this kind of beat in NY, Puerto Rico and the DR!