By Teresa Zhang
April 12, 2021
Rapper Lil Nas X officially released his long-anticipated single “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” along with its accompanying music video and promotional “Satan Shoes” last Friday, evoking immediate backlash from critics.
Before the release of the video, Lil Nas X posted an emotional Instagram post telling his past self to be proud of himself and his queerness and to not give up on himself.
The 3 minute 10 second biblically-themed music video features, among other scenes, Adam and the snake in the Garden of Eden (both portrayed by Lil Nas X) kissing, Lil Nas X pole dancing in Heaven before eventually descending into Hell, and Lil Nas X giving Satan a lap dance before snapping Satan’s neck and taking his place as the King of Hell.
The 666 pair of shoes, released a day before the music video, were custom black Nike Air Maxes featuring a bronze pentagram on the laces and an inverted cross, along with the bottom of the shoe filled with red dye and allegedly, a drop of human blood. The shoes were sold out in less than a minute.
Among the critics was conservative commentator Candace Owens, who claimed that Lil Nas X, along with fellow rapper Cardi B, were holding back Black Americans’ progress. South Dakota’s Republican governor Kristi Noem joined in, commenting that such products were damaging children’s “God-given eternal soul.”
In response to the criticism, the “Old Town Road” singer, whose real name is the eponymous Montero Lamar Hill, responded by stating that it was not his responsibility to “cater to [critics’] children” and that there are other, more pressing issues to be addressed, such as the rise in gun violence.