Lil Nas X’s new music video, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” and new sneaker releases has stirred up controversy after making several references to the devil.
The artist explores his sexuality in a realm of mythological fantasy in his latest video, which was released on March 26. Some of its clips include Lil Nas X dancing on the devil, which sparked online controversy.
Hannah Blend, a freshman special education and behavioral science double major, said she does not think the video is controversial.
“It’s just a video, and there are so many videos where women are sexualized, but now that it’s a man, people are mad about it,” Blend said.
On March 26, the artist posted a picture of a letter he wrote to his younger self on Instagram that the latest song and music video are about his sexuality. Last June, Lil Nas X announced on Twitter that he was gay.
“Dear 14 year old Montero, I wrote a song with our name in it,” he wrote. “It’s about a guy I met last summer. I know we promised never to come out publicly...but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.”
Shivani Patel, a freshman nursing major, said the video represents a lot for the community.
“The video represents how the community has been constantly offended, and how the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and religious institutions has been strained throughout history,” Patel said.
Fans are defending Lil Nas X and what his video portrayed. Patel said she thinks there are two sides to this video.
“I do believe that people may be a little over-critical of the artist’s creativity and calling him out because of the disrespect he brought to Christians and their beliefs,” Patel said. “But at the same time, it might be in favor of the LGBTQ+ community because of all the trauma and offense they had gone through, especially from the Church.”
While Patel supports the singer, she said she also sees why some people may be offended by the music video and thinks he may have gone too far.
“I do believe that Lil Nas X is in the wrong for bashing Christians and their beliefs in a rude and negative way to bring the LGBTQ+ community into the spotlight,” Patel said. “There definitely was a better way to bring awareness to the community.”
Shortly after the release of the music video, Lil Nas X also released “Satan Shoes” which are a customized version of Nike Air Max 97’s.
Lil Nas X announced that each shoe has 99 cubic millimeters of red dye and a drop of human blood in the sole of the shoe, priced at $1,000. Despite the price and controversy surrounding the shoes, they sold out in less than a minute.
The shoe release also received the attention of Gov. Kristie Noem of South Dakota. Lil Nas X and Noem argued through Twitter about the sneaker’s launch with Noam calling them “a symbol of America’s spiritual ruin.”
Mason Keels, a freshman philosophy major, said he personally likes the shoes.
“I love Nike Air Max 97’s and was excited when I saw he made a pair,” Keels said. “The price was too much, though.”
Nike recently settled a lawsuit surrounding the shoe launch and announced that art startup MSCHF is responsible for the shoes.. Nike also asked the startup to remove the swoosh logo and its name.
Serena Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.