Lil Nas X
Photo: Filip Custic / Press

Lil Nas X — Montero (Call Me by Your Name)

In Plato’s Symposium, the philosopher posits that all human beings were once born with two heads, four arms, and one soul. Mankind exists as we do because those beings were divided — now we walk the earth with only one head, two arms, and half a soul, with that one part of our soul always searching for its other half. Thus, every living creature has a soulmate, one being that your soul is destined to connect with.

That line from the Symposium, “after the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half,” is written on the tree in Lil Nas X’s garden of eden in the video for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” A paradise that he can only enjoy as long as he ignores the one desire of his soul. Honestly, you can’t really blame him for falling for the snake in the garden with that set of archaic constraints. Lil Nas X’s original sin, much like Eve, is confronting his own wisdom. He falls from grace once he shares a kiss with another man.

Lil Nas X faces the angelic tribunal, chained to the floor and judged by the masses, he tells them that he is attracted to those who appear lofty to him, above him in some way, “I only want to fuck the ones I envy” he tells this avatar of god. Still he is allowed to ascend to heaven, but he has no interest anymore. He realizes now that paradise is prison, and so he lets himself fall. Lil Nas X rides the stripper pole straight down to the pit, his hair in long blood red locs. The floor of Hell has the words “they condemn what they don’t understand” engraved in the floor, and so Lil Nas X submits himself to the devil, bedecked in latex restraints. Lil Nas X snaps the neck of the devil, places the crown on his head, and becomes the new king. Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. It is a powerful image and cements Lil Nas X’s rightful place as the King of Queer music.

Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” is, in his own words, one for the whores, the queers, and the kings and queens of hell. Bow down, bitches.