Lil Nas X has become one of the biggest names in the music industry, and after initially being written off as a one hit wonder with his chart topping song Old Town Road, the rapper has now released his highly anticipated debut album Montero.
This is everything you need to know.
How was the album announced?
Lil Nas X caused a stir with his album announcement by releasing a very realistic looking set of maternity photos with a visible baby bump.
The pictures had people asking if he was really pregnant as the rapper took the photos to promote his new album, referring to the project as “his baby”. Taking the phrase literally, the rapper released a pregnancy photo shoot.
In the photos, he’s dressed in a white robe with a flower crown and a very prominent baby bump.
Posting the pictures on Twitter, Lil Nas X wrote: “SURPRISE! I can’t believe I’m finally announcing this. My little bundle of joy “MONTERO” is due September 17, 2021.”
He also posted a picture of a sonogram, with the image of himself from the cover art of the album seen in the centre.
Speaking to People, the rapper said that the idea for the shoot came to him after listening to Megan Thee Stallion’s verse on his new dog Dolla Sign Slime for the first time.
He said: “I was like “Oh my God, this is amazing”, so I immediately called my stylist.
“She was like, “Wow, this all comes together. Your album. Your baby.” I was like, “Yeah, this is my baby, huh?”. As a joke, she was like, “Yeah, you should do a pregnancy shoot”.
“I was like, “You know what? That’s actually brilliant.” So now we have this entire thing coming out, and it’s going to be amazing.”
In the run up to the album getting released, Lil Nas X tweeted a number of videos of himself with his baby bump, including a baby shower and having contractions. On the day of the, he tweeted a video of himself being rushed through a hospital on a gurney in labour. He gives birth to album and says that it’s “already Grammy nominated”.
What’s the tracklist for the album - and who features on it?
Lil Nas X has quickly become one of the biggest names in music, and his debut album boasts features from fellow industry giants.
The tracklist for the album goes as follows:
- Montero (Call Me by Your Name)
- Dead Right Now
- Industry Baby [feat. Jack Harlow]
- That’s What I want
- The Art of Realization
- Scoop [feat. Doja Cat]
- One of Me [feat. Elton John]
- Lost in the Citadel
- Dolla Sign Slime [feat. Megan Thee Stallion]
- Tales of Dominica
- Sun Goes Down
- Don’t Want It
- Life After Salem
- Am I Dreaming [feat. Miley Cyrus]
What are reviews saying?
The debut album from the Industry Baby rapper has been met with praise from music reviewers.
Alexis Petridis from The Guardian gave the album a five out of five star rating and called it “pop-rap at its proudest, biggest and best”.
He said: “This blockbuster debut album matches its eclecticism and broad emotional range with high-quality hooks throughout – and all with the rapper’s sexuality front and centre.”
Mike Wass from Variety said that the album is “strikingly personal” and that “the 22-year-old deftly pivots from hip-hop to pop, even sprinkling in some jangly guitars, with a little help from famous friends including Elton John, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat and Miley Cyrus”.
He added: “With its genre-stretching approach and refreshingly honest exploration of love and loneliness, Nas reminds us that he’s a musical force to be reckoned with.
“Perhaps more importantly, “Montero” hints that the rapper is ready to give voice to the fears and longings of a generation of queer kids.”
Helen Brown from the Independent also gave Montero a five star rating, stating “over Montero’s 15 tracks, [Lil Nas X] pulls together as many bright, witty and varied textures as his own, headline-grabbing wardrobe”.
“Close your eyes as you listen to Montero and you can almost feel the rainbow confetti falling from the ceiling and sticking to your tears. This album isn’t the creation of a gimmick-spinner. It’s an album bursting with technicolour heart,” she wrote.
Kate Solomon from the i gave the album a slightly lower but still impressive four star rating, and said that the rapper, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, has made “a thoughtful and emotional album full of his insecurities, his imposter syndrome and his grapples with being open about his sexuality”.
El Hunt from NME gave the album three out of five stars and said that while it’s “refreshing to see the rapper in a reflective light” he gets “upstaged by the likes of Megan Thee Stallion”.
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