After months of teasing, a steamy onstage kiss, a pair of ripped pants, pole-dancing to hell, a naked shower dance scene, a lawsuit with Nike over satanic shoes, and a very elaborate pregnancy-themed PR roll-out, Lil Nas X’s debut album, Montero, is finally here.
As previously reported by The Root, the EP consists of 15 tracks and features artists such as Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Elton John, Jack Harlow and Miley Cyrus. His tracks “Montero (Call Me By Your Name) and “Industry Baby” (feat. Jack Harlow) garnered critical success and “Montero” already took home the win for Video of the Year at the 2021 VMAs.
The promotion for this album will go down in industry history. If there is one thing we know about Lil Nas X, it’s that he’s a grade-A internet troll. His track with Megan Thee Stallion, “Dolla Sign Slime” inspired his pregnancy-themed PR push, including an exclusive paternity shoot with People, a self-hosted baby shower and a birthing video which you can view on his Instagram (or below). Normani “called being the god mama” for the unborn project while another person questioned where the rapper’s expectant belly was at last Sunday’s VMAs and Monday’s Met Gala.
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As we’ve previously noted, Nas X has a “Machiavellian mastery of social media,” which has consistently inspired provocative promotions for his debut EP, including a self-planned solo baby shower at which he ended up the only person in attendance. Published as a video, Nas X walks into his backyard, blindfolded and dressed in a robe printed with his album art to find a “fully prepped light blue-themed baby shower—with balloons, cakes, food and an empty group of chairs…[and] gifts from his different collaborators,” as reported by People. He even set up a “registry” for his baby shower with 15 different charitable organizations to donate to.
Accordingly, Nas X has been called a “marketing genius” by The Cut for his series of PR rollouts, and his shenanigans have only escalated as he continued with this press push (pun intended). You know those corny-looking billboards featuring a lawyer and a phrase along the lines of: “Have you been hurt at work? You may be entitled to compensation,” with a phone number or email at the bottom? Well, Nas X, being the troll he is, created similar billboards of his own.
The four billboards read: “Gay? You may be entitled to financial compensation.” “Do you hate Lil Nas X? You may be entitled to financial compensation.” “Are you single, lonely and miserable? You may be entitled to financial compensation.” And finally, the one that Karens undoubtedly had the most issue with: “Do you miss the real America? Visit welcometomontero.com to see how we can take our country back.”
On drop day, Nas X also released the video for “That’s What I Want,” which this time features him in both a hot-pink football uniform, and in a Brokeback Mountain homage with a cameo of spiritual mentor Billy Porter handing off a guitar to Nas X in a wedding scene. Like his other videos, “That’s What I Want” amps up the degree of sex by 70 percent and the degree of camp by at least 100 percent—oh, and we get another naked shower scene.
We applaud you, Montero. Congratulations on the birth of your first album. We cannot wait to see where you go in the future—or who you troll next.