On Sept. 17, Lil Nas X released his much-anticipated album “MONTERO.” He had released a few singles from the album throughout the past year, such as “Call Me by Your Name” and “INDUSTRY BABY.” As of Sept. 20, the album is already topping Billboard charts and breaking records left and right. “Call Me by Your Name” alone held the number one spot on Billboard charts for five weeks straight. Lil Nas X has been making headlines since 2019, with his first big hit “Old Town Road.” Since then, his music has progressed from country to hip-hop and rap, and he has become one of the most famous queer black men in the music industry. In interviews, he said that he wanted this album to show a more vulnerable and authentic side of him, defying the expectations of being a queer person in the public eye. This intention showed itself back in April, when he stirred some controversy due to the music video for “Call Me by Your Name.” Despite this backlash, he did not hold back his vision for what he wanted for the album. My personal take on “MONTERO”: overall, I absolutely loved it. Even as someone who doesn’t frequently listen to hip-hop, I could still really appreciate the quality and catchiness of the songs. I especially liked how the genre sometimes conflicted with the message of certain songs. For example, “THATS WHAT I WANT” is one of the more pop-sounding songs, yet it’s about spending nights alone and longing for a relationship. He also touches on his life growing up and struggling with the freedom to be who he is. The order of the track list starts off with his well-known songs, and then slowly transitions into the more intense songs. He also features a small but wide range of artists, including Doja Cat and Elton John. I think that all the features made sense and worked really well with the songs they were featured in. Now, for my favorite and least favorite songs. I’m excluding “ART OF REALIZATION” because it’s not really a song. It’s more of a small interlude into the next song. My favorite song on the album (aka the one I go back to the most) is “THATS WHAT I WANT.” There’s something about the melody and the vibes that make the song so addicting. It was hard to pick a least favorite song, since I don’t hate any of them. However, after much consideration, “SCOOP” is probably my least favorite. I just didn’t feel like it held up very well to the rest of the songs, even with Doja’s amazing feature. To me, it just felt like there could’ve been a lot more to the song, but it just ended sounding a little empty. If you haven’t listened to the album yet, I would highly recommend it. This new era of Lil Nas X was much anticipated, and I think it’s safe to say that expectations were not only met, but passed.

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