Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ is a mixed bag with many gems

Lil Nas X’s debut album is an emotional and fascinating ride


Courtesy of

Lil Nas X’s Debut Montero’s colorful and eye-catching album cover

Anika Sharma

On Sept. 17 2021, rapper Montero Lamar Hill, a.k.a.Lil Nas X, released his debut album “Montero.”The album includes singles like “Industry Baby” (featuring. Jack Harlow), and the title song “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” which covers topics including love, sex, relationships, betrayal, heartbreak, the price of fame and insecurity. Although some songs aren’t as unique compared to his previous singles, many are true gems worth a listen. 

“That’s What I Want”

“That’s What I Want,” the fourth song on the album, is an upbeat pop song to follow “MONTERO” and “Industry Baby.” The song expresses Hill’s desire for a romantic relationship through a quick tempo, upbeat guitar and lyrics such as, “Look you know it’s harder to find in these times, / but I’ve got nothing but love on my mind,”.The song concludes with a more somber rendition of the chorus before quickly returning to the upbeat tempo with more fury, and is a perfect way to translate into more emotionally reflective songs. 

Pull Quote by Anika Sharma

“One of Me” (ft. Elton John)

“One of Me” starts with a quiet piano as Hill begins singing. The beat is slow with lyrics like, “Ain’t the next big thing, you the next thing to go now” and “can you prove yourself? / Everybody waitin’, / I don’t see you lasting long and that’s just me being honest, / even if your album OK, its, flopping that’s a promise.” References to his popular 2019 song “Old Town Road” point to his insecurity as an artist and the feeling of pressure to stick to what made him popular, a stark contrast from songs like “Scoop” and “Industry Baby,” which are motivating and exude confidence. The song ends where it started — with a quiet piano. 

“Life After Salem”

“Life After Salem” expresses the most pain in the album, beginning with a quiet electric guitar and Hill’s slow, drawn-out singing. The beat is creeping and infused with a rock and metal influence. Hill sings soberly about betrayal before crying out about being used. Throughout this album, Hill adheres to a very distinct style, but it was a welcome surprise to see him break his sound with a soulful melody and emotional lyrics. 

Pull Quote by Anika Sharma

“Am I Dreaming” (ft. Miley Cyrus)

“Am I Dreaming” begins with a soft guitar, accompanied by Hill harmonizing on vocals. While other songs are packed with instrumentals, this song is more intimate with only a guitar to accompany Hill and featured artist Miley Cyrus. Lyrics like, “Oh never forget me and everything I’ve done, / Oh never forget me, like I’m your favorite song,” seem to plead with the listener to remember him. The instrumentals end at three minutes, but the listeners continue to hear a splash of water, a quiet breeze and crickets as it fades out and the album ends. 


Every song in “Montero” is unique, though some display more originality than others. The songs that tap into his emotions and fears as an artist are far better and resonate most. I give give the album 4 out of five stars and is a significant step in bolstering Hill’s career as an artist.