"I know we promised to never come out publicly ... I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist," he wrote in a letter to his 14-year-old self.
Lil Nas X is making a huge statement with his latest music video "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" -- to his would-be haters, to the world at large and even to his 14-year-old self.
After coming out publicly as gay, the artist's latest release is him at his most unapologetically queer, featuring reels and reels of provocative imagery that's perhaps meant to make some people uncomfortable, while at the same time celebrating his ability to finally be himself.
The rapper released the video alongside a poignant letter he penned to his younger self, sharing that he may be the most surprised at how unabashedly open he's become about living his truth.
"Dear 14-year-old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it," he wrote on Twitter alongside the release of the video. "It’s about a guy I met last summer." Lil Nas X first came out on June 30, 2019, the last day of Pride Month.
Realizing that this moment is bigger than his teen self, and even his adult self, he continued, writing, "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."
He went on to acknowledge that he fully expects some people to react poorly, and that it's a little scary to even release the video.
"People will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda," he penned. "But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f–k out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be."
The video is certainly provocative beyond even to those who might be uncomfortable with its open representation of queerness. It also features Lil Nas X as a stripper giving Satan a sensual lap dance before ultimately taking the crown for itself -- and that's just one of the Biblical images depicted.
Did we mention he made his way down to hell by sliding down a stripper pole? And that he encounters seemingly infinite versions of himself throughout this piece? And that the costuming and effects are absolutely incredible?
"In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don't want the world to see," says Lil Nas X to open our foray into his world. "We lock them away. We tell them no. We banish them. But here, we don't."
After the video's release, the rapper spent the evening sharing behind the scenes images from the shoot, as well as retweeting some of the fun memes people were quickly creating to celebrate the stunning visual tour de force.
For all his anxiety about how the video might be received, the initial reaction has been largely positive and supportive.
Lil Nas X pushes boundaries just by being an openly gay Black man in the hip-hop space, so it's a testament to his strength of vision and character that he's embracing this role and pushing forth his "agenda" of normalizing queerness in the hopes that others can, as he put it, "simply exist."
If this is what he has for us in March, we can't wait to see what June brings!
The Lil Nas X video was amazing Finally we are getting good Illuminati content again. FB prayer warriors are going to combust, Boosies will collapse from playing replay until he loses consciousness. Pop is controversial again pic.twitter.com/NL7qjbRWuw
the message & image that the “Call Me By Your Name” video is displaying needs to be talked about more & im glad @LilNasX is going to be the one to push the conversation forward 🏹 pic.twitter.com/85Goncdyzg