Lil Nas X’s debut album, Montero, was released last Friday and as Cody wrote in his review yesterday, this is Lil Nas proving that he’s more than a troll, more than a one-hit wonder, that he can back up the shock value with melody and lyrics – the musicality is there, and along with the charm and irreverence, the introspection and conflict are there too.
Promotion, as we’ve seen, has never been a problem for Lil Nas. And still, even though it’s not surprising that he’s great at it, he consistently manages to surprise. As part of the promotional tour for Montero, Lil Nas X showed up on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, and performed Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. It’s a great song, which is why it’s covered a lot. But, as the kids say, it hits different when Lil Nas X is doing it. “I’m begging of you please, don’t take my man” hits different.
And of course it’s not the only subversion that Lil Nas is serving here. Remember, his first disruption was “Old Town Road”, inviting himself into country music territory without a welcome. So they tried to evacuate him, and instead of successfully removing him from that space, he ended up conquering it. “Old Town Road” is the longest-running #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. That’s history. With his first single.
Two years later, Lil Nas X and the gay agenda are coming home to his country roots with a raw and sensitive version of one of the most beloved and well-known country tracks that, once again, defies expectation and gives an already well-known song even more dimension and accessibility.
Yours in gossip,