By Olivia Pocat
Lil Nas X, the 22-year-old pop star who rose to fame after the release of “Old Town Road,” has finally released his debut album. With this album, Lil Nas X has expressed his true singing style, while opening up an avenue into his emotions. MONTERO, which happens to be his birth name, features a variety of different songs, all of which are awesome to listen to. The singer lets the listener into his headspace as he maneuvers through different genres, singing about his fractured family life, the struggle to hide his sexuality and eccentric personality for most of his life, as well as other difficult times. The album cover highlights the singer nudefloating in a type of forest with vibrant colors and luscious waterfalls. The image creates a good cover for what the album’s songs consist of; a preview for the tracks contained within
The album features many collaborations with popular artists such as Jack Harlow, Miley Cyrus, Elton John, and others. Jack Harlow collaborated with Lil Nas X on “INDUSTRY BABY,” while teen pop star Miley Cyrus was featured on “AM I DREAMING.” In addition, the iconic Elton John worked with Lil Nas X for the song “ONE OF ME.” With both the Elton John and Miley Cyrus collaborations, the artists have developed slower beats, seemingly to present a deeper meaning than the other upbeat songs. Within “AM I DREAMING,” Nas and Miley talk about how they want to be remembered, and how their true appearance is revealed after “glitter comes off.”The song with Elton John, Nas addresses his haters, including the people who didn’t believe he would succeed after his hit, “Old Town Road.”
“SCOOP”, featuring Doja Cat, is another collaboration song, and depicts the hard work which goes on behind the scenes. Megan Thee Stallion is featured on “DOLLA SIGN SLIME”, is basically just a flex about how much money he has made due to the popularity of his music and social media influence, proving how far he has come in his music career.
Inadvertently, other songs in the album continue to showcase amazing vocals and catchy beats. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),”, and “DEAD RIGHT NOW,”, the first and second tracks have upbeat tones and many cool beats. “THAT’S WHAT I WANT,” is a song which expresses Nas’ desire to find someone in his life; he sings about being lonely and alone. “LOST IN THE CITADEL” is a pop-rock inspired song, which gives off an emotional feel. The song shows his thoughts and feelings and captures an encouraging attitude and a positive vibe.The song, “TALES OF DOMINICA,” sounds quite depressing, including lyrics which promote the idea of Nas hitting rock bottom. The song tells the story of Nas before he rose to fame, mentioning how the singer had no money and a failing music career. Therefore, the song counters the claims made in the song “DOLLA SIGN SLIME,” by demonstrating the poverty the singer faced earlier in his career. The next track, “SUN GOES DOWN” features lyrics reflecting on the artist’s stages of depressions in college, as well as the adversity he faced when he initially came out to the public. The singer also reflects on his physical appearance and gives hope to his LGBTQ fans through this song. The 12th track, “VOID,” talks about the emotions behind the artist’s reasoning for running away from home. He sings to ‘Blue’, and declares that he will miss them when he leaves. “DON’T WANT IT” continues these feelings of reinvention, forgiveness, and finding home, highlighted throughout the rest of the album. In “LIFE AFTER SALEM” Nas shows off his impressive vocals as well as genius songwriting and adds a grunge rock feel to the song. The 5th track on the album, “THE ART OF REALIZATION,” completely stands out from the rest of his songs. The song includes Lil Nas talking, saying
“I’ve been driving a lot
I just drive in-, in life
With no actual direction
Not heading towards any specific place
It’s like “For who?”
Is it for me?
Am I happy?”
I like that second one
I’m not sure (I’m not sure)
These lyrics remain the perfect reflection for the album. The realization regarding the album’s meaning and voice allows for the proper effect to be left after listening to the album. The phrase illustrates Nas’ motivation for writing the entire album.