“MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” is the latest single from American singer and rapper Lil Nas X, and was first previewed through the 2021 Super Bowl commercial in February. The single appears as the 5th track on Lil Nas X’s upcoming album “MONTERO” which is due to be released this year. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” was written by Lil Nas X (Montero Hill), Denzel Baptiste (Take a Daytrip), David Birl, Omer Fedi and Rosario Lenzo, with Baptiste, Fedi and Lenzo in charge of production.
The hip-hop song focuses on many themes to do with queerness, which is a occurring theme in Lil Nas X and his music. The song’s title is Lil Nas X’s first name combined with the famous 2017 LGBT film “Call Me By Your Name”. Speaking to Billboard.com, Lil Nas X stated that “CMBYN” was one of the first queer movies he had ever seen, leading him to be interested in the concept of “calling somebody by your own name as lovers and trying to keep it between you two”. Lil Nas X also revealed that the song was written about a man he met in mid-2020, who was partying and taking drugs excessively during the Covid-19 quarantine. The song also touches on not feeling ashamed about your sexuality and not feeling the need to hide. On the day of the track’s release, Lil Nas X released a letter on social media which was addressed to his 14-year-old self, where he expressed his nervousness about the in which he disclosed his sexuality, and also expressing his own struggles with internalised homophobia.
The music video for the song was released alongside the track, sparking controversy among conservatives and praise from many fans, music critics and queer people from around the globe. Directed by Tanu Muino as well as Lil Nas X, the music video was shot in only two days in February 2021, and shows Lil Nas X playing many characters in biblical and mythology-inspired scenes, with French animation studio “Mathematic” in charge of animation. In an interview with Time, Lil Nas X revealed that the inspiration behind the music video was from the children’s cartoon series “SpongeBob SquarePants”, the “CMBYN” film as well as British singer, songwriter and dancer FKA twigs music video “cellophane”, which was directed by Andrew Thomas Huang. Lil Nas X also emphasised his idea for the pole dance down to the hypothetical hell was inspired by the pole dancing in FKA twig’s video: “I wanted to see some things people have done in music videos with the pole—and I felt like Twigs did a really amazing job at that… I wanted to do my own take on it.”
As of mid-April, the music video has over 134.4 million views with an impressive 4.7 million likes on YouTube.
The lyrics to “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” can be read here.