It's wild to think about what a gargantuan star Lil Nas X was before he ever released an album. On September 17, the beloved musical artist finally "gave birth" to his first record, Montero, after building anticipation with a quirky and entertaining press campaign that included a pregnancy announcement, charitable registry and a baby bump photoshoot reminiscent of those done by Beyoncé, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj.
Along with the new album, Lil Nas X dropped a new music video for his song "That's What I Want," which he said is his favorite to date during a livestream before the release. The video, directed by Stillz with a storyline written by Lil Nas X himself, tells an ill-fated love story in under three minutes.
Its first act is a steamy locker room scene with a handsome football player. Then, the video cuts to a romantic camping trip in the American West, reminiscent of trailblazing queer film Brokeback Mountain. In a nod to the heteronormative tension that drives that movie's drama, the next scene shows Lil Nas X showing up at his paramour's house with flowers in hand. Only then does he realize his love has been living a double life, with a wife and kids at home. The final moments of "That's What I Want" are more triumphant. Clad in a wedding dress with mascara tears pouring down his face, Lil Nas X walks down the aisle in a church. Billy Porter greets him at the pulpit, bestowing him with an electric guitar. True romance might be what he wants, but the lesson here is that music will never break his heart.
Montero is stacked with collaborations with incandescent musical talents, like Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat. It also includes several previously-released singles like "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" and "Industry Baby," featuring Jack Harlow (and another super sexy shower scene).
True to form, Lil Nas X preceded his album drop with a quirky faux talk show. The musician played all the roles on "The Montero Show," standing in as its host, its pregnant guest and the lone audience member. He playfully evaded questions about his breakout hit, "Old Town Road," then ranked all his videos from least- to most-favorite. The livestream concluded with Lil Nas X being wheeled into a maternity ward, where he gave birth to Montero on vinyl, quipping that "it's already Grammy-nominated." We love this energy. Manifest your dreams, Lil Nas X.