A Much-Needed Nuanced Take on ‘MONTERO,’ Lil Nas X and Deez Bloody Shoes

Now y’all know I avoid talking about Lil Nas X as much as humanly possible and I CERTAINLY didn’t want to jump into the cesspool that is his latest controversy.

But among the zillions of tweets and arguments and accusations of homophobia and religious zealotry and YASS QUEEN’ing I’ve seen over the past few days, almost all the discussions are missing one key ingredient.

Nuance. The OTHER dreaded N word on social media.

Sigh, so here goes – an unbiased and unabashed take on the “MONTERO” moment. I’ll see y’all on the other side of social media cancellation.

For those who missed it, Lil Nas X, the guy who plagued our eardrums for seemingly eons with “Old Town Road” resurfaced with a controversial new video that featured, among other things, giving satan a lapdance.

Google the video for yourself. He gets no free hits from me. Anyway, he followed up that with an attempt to sell “Satan Shoes” to quite literally cash in on the convo.

First, the video. Conceptually, I don’t have a problem with it and understand the message. It’s simply the depiction of the monster the media portrays him to be. In fact, it’s way more condemning of the church than him – if this guy feels (literally) demonized by a faith that purports love, then we failed him miserably.  

I say that as a spiritual mentor to dozens of teens and young adults across the south. If you’re using your faith to divide instead of unite, trust me, you’re doing it wrong.

Now, the issue I did have with “MONTERO” is going from kid-friendly nonsense like Nas X’s first couple songs to … devilish dry humping. It’s a very jarring transition and the video’s message will likely go way over the heads of young fans (like it clearly went over the heads of grown folks). And don’t give me that “Old Town Road isn’t a song for kids anyway, he’s singing about lean!” It was directly marketed toward kids – in fact, when I criticized the song for being ridiculous, y’all yelled at ME by saying “but it’s a fun kids song, calm down!”

I keeps receipts.

Regardless, this should be the part where parents SIT DOWN WITH THEIR KIDS and have tough conversations with them, explaining what the video’s imagery says about faith and acceptance, instead of letting industry plants raise their kids for them.

And yes, Lil Nas X is an industry plant and has admitted so himself, but that’s truth napalm for another time. Don’t argue with me, take it up with him.

Secondly, and the part where I started to REALLY get annoyed with all this nonsense – it’s DEEZ BLUUDY SHOES. Whereas the video could be defended as an artistic statement, the devil-branded shoes with “human blood” inside is a straight up troll-job, meant solely to mock religion and get buzz. Now if you’re not into organized religion, that’s your choice. But wasn’t openly mocking what you dislike or don’t understand the ENTIRE MESSAGE that the video was fighting AGAINST?

Is it Oochie Wally or is it One Mic?

Y’all playing with satan today and then asking for prayers when COVID has your grandma on death’s door next week? Playa please.  

I also knew Nike would sue him back to the old town road for use of their logo, even telling several friends privately that he was doomed. But lord knows if I said that publicly *I* would have been branded a homophobic villain, for some reason. Which, again, flies in the face of what Nas X was trying to convey in his video about openness and acceptance of different ideas and beliefs.

And that’s the sheer irony of this goofy debate. The goal of “MONTERO” is to smash hypocrisy and embrace acceptance – different ideals and different lifestyles. I’m with that. Instead any and all critics – the reasonable ones, not the brimstone-spewing bible thumpers – are now the ones silently held hostage in fear of not getting trampled by fake bloody shoes.

If you say “well, that’s what they deserve, now you see how it feels!” well, you’re missing the point. Everyone has a right to their voice, even if you don’t like it.

It’s also the reason I finally decided to speak up after rolling my eyes at this stuff for days. When reasoned debates are suppressed in favor of social media tribalism, we all lose.

Look, let’s be real. As an actual song, “MONTERO” is trash. However, as a visual critique of the hypocrisy of organized religion, I get what “MONTERO” was trying to accomplish and I hope that message is felt.

The shoe thing, though? A dumb stunt that shows Lil Nas X’s greatest talent is social media trolling, not music.

And you should feel perfectly free to say so. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of “MONTERO” anyway?

The devil’s always in the details.

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