MONTERO Album Review

Sarah Stukalin

This past week, Lil Nas X released his long-awaited debut album entitled MONTERO. The album is packed with catchy beats, star-studded features, and controversial lyrics that make Lil Nas X the star he is today. 

Lil Nas X’s journey to MONTERO began in 2019 when he released his country-pop hybrid single, “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. The song became an instant hit for its effortless merging of country and rap, and while people predicted Lil Nas X to be a one-hit-wonder, he has certainly proved us wrong. 

In anticipation of his debut, Nas X released a duo of singles that captivated his fans and gave us a taste of his work to come. “INDUSTRY BABY” and “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” both topped charts and increased the anticipation for MONTERO’s debut. 

MONTERO has been out for a week now, and it still hasn’t gotten old. Each song has its own unique, insanely catchy beat you won’t be able to get out of your head, as well as honest, relatable lyrics that are unique to the world of rap. Lil Nas X is one of the few openly gay rappers in the industry right now, and he lets his sexuality proudly and unapologetically shine through in his music.

MONTERO is a breath of fresh air, and while Lil Nas X could fill up the album with his brilliant lyricism alone, he calls upon a star-studded list of features to add something special to the music. If it wasn’t already obvious that Lil Nas X is one of the most respected rappers in the industry right now, look to the features by Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, and even Elton John. 

One of the standout tracks on MONTERO, as well as Lil Nas X’s favorite, “LOST IN THE CITADEL” is a true testament to the vulnerability Nas X channels into his lyricism. He sings “Why I thought it was forever? / I only see you maybe never / Why I thought we’d be together? / When you treat it like whatever? Yeah, yeah, yeah / My love for falling down / Playing the victim when all my envisionings / Come slowly tumblin’ down / Putting me back on the ground.”

Lil Nas X is just what the rap world needs: someone who doesn’t conform but looks to break out of the shell of their chosen genre and use it to explore themselves and the world around them. MONTERO is a brilliant debut project filled with great beats, hilarious and heartfelt lyrics, and wonderful features. 

Listen to MONTERO here!