Every musical artist is different and unique. How they present their music and why always come down to how the individual wants to use their talent.
For example, Taylor Swift is known for her endless menagerie of break up songs and love ballads. Country singers are known for their infatuations with their dog/truck/beer, and criminal vengeance for cheating and/or trash talking any of the aforementioned country staples.
Some artists, like Lady Gaga, create a mythos about a song or a collection of songs. These can range anywhere from a simple consideration of the nature of pop culture to her centering herself as a goddess of creation (she in fact has done this).
It seems a new upcoming artist is treading a similar path. Lil Nas X, who rose to fame for the immensely popular song “Old Town Road,” has created several more songs. Several follow up hits after his initial success have ensured that he won’t be a one hit wonder.
As a young artist, Lil Nas X is quite attuned to the current pop culture and is known for his tongue in cheek humor.
For instance, he performed his song “Panini”instead of “Old Town Road”at the 2019 VMA’s after a video played in the form of a news reel where President Lil Nas X released Old Town Remix 3162.
His willingness to poke at the absurdity of his own success, while at the same time willingly to go with one of his lesser-known songs, shows his uniqueness.
This is the first example of Lil Nas X’s foray into the living expression of his work. The mythos surrounding “Old Town Road” was light-hearted, but his performance of “Panini” looked like something out of “Tron.”
Now that’s fine, and frankly quite fun to watch, but it shows how Lil Nas views his creations. They aren’t just songs, but a form of expression that he plays out.
Now from what I gather, Panini is the name of someone and not a sandwich. It must be the future if someone is willingly to name their child Panini, but I digress. I don’t know how the futurism connects with the song, but that’s fine.
Lil Nas felt that aesthetic fit with what he wanted to do.
This all comes back around to the recent release of his new music video for “MONTERO.”If you’re wondering what a Montero is just like me, don’t worry - I’ll tell you. It’s simply a name, or more importantly the birth name of Lil Nas X.
With that in mind, I would suggest watching the video if you haven’t seen it.
Viewing the video for the first time was an interesting experience. Lil Nas combines theology, historical events and ancient words to create a very bold message about several different topics.
Firstly, we are narrated into a land called Montero where we are told the parts of ourselves we bury are not; individuals can be who they want. The landscape is hyper colorized strewn with ancient buildings of a Roman or Greek nature.
To say this is supposed to represent a Garden of Eden would be an understatement. Any doubts get evaporated when a serpent tempts one of the main characters.
Additionally, ever character except one is played by Lil Nas X. The next segment shows a pink haired Nas getting stoned to death by a crowd of statues colored blue.
As he ascends to a heavenly afterlife, a pole manifests which he rides down to the underworld and entertains a devilish figure who he eventually kills and replaces.
The fact all of this is presented as Montero being just Montero reads as maybe not a confession, but a showing of how he feels about himself. The video is filled to the brim with messages not only for us to see, but for the creator to acknowledge.
Lil Nas X is young and very bold for how he displays his art and his life. I look forward to seeing more of his work.