This article was published on July 28th, 2021
Montero Lamar Hill, better known as Lil Nas X, is a 22 year old singer, rapper and songwriter. His rise to fame began in 2019 with the release of Old Town Road.
With the release of this first single he was already leaving his mark on the music industry and the world. His first single Old Town Road was at the center of controversy for mixing country music with rap. The song was removed from the Country Billboard Awards for its infusion with trap musical styling. However, he still gained a name as the first openly gay black rapper to receive a country music award.
His next single Montero took the world by surprise and gained massive popularity. This song took the Christian world by the horns and swung them about. Pastors have referred to this song as, “Devil worshipping, wicked nonsense,” due to the imagery that can be seen in the video.
In this video we see him truly transform into the gay icon that the world now knows him as. This song, the video representation and meanings are truly monumental for our community. We have finally seen our culture injected into mainstream media with fair and accurate representation. This is something that was unheard of 20 years ago.
He shattered a glass ceiling during the BET awards by kissing a man on stage during the performance of Montero. He set the internet a blaze but not all viewers were happy with his performance.
The kiss incited many homophobic remarks. One person claimed to have raised a complaint with the FCC and TMZ received the statement. It said, “I was very disturbed to see 2 men practically having sexual in the stage when the awards show is supposed to be a family show,” one angry viewer wrote. “It’s ridiculous and children and adults are being forced to endure this. Unacceptable and I will be unsubscribing from BET network. DISGUSTING AND DISTURBING!!!!!!!!”
His latest song Industry Baby is pushing the limits of our current representation in media even further. In this we see him break out of a prison full of black men. This further exemplifies his transformation as a gay icon for the LGBT community because of the dancers in the video and their apparent flamboyance. However, there are strong salient representations of the jail system in America and the oppression that it has on the black community.
Lil Nas X is proving to be controversial, but he is shining a light on the oppression faced by many communities. Lil Nas X’s music is what we need for the world we live in today. Our world is overrun by oppression and it is not always apparent.
His rise to popularity shows us that people care about issues that matter. We have a hunger for accurate representation. We want this coupled with issues that we know exist, but that people rarely talk about.
It is an undoubted fact that Lil Nas X has earned his right to be called a gay icon. He has shattered multiple glass ceilings. We have seen a trend that his music is progressively more gay and political in nature. Let’s hope he keeps this up!