Lil Nas X
What is the shelf life of a meme supposed to be? Outside of a few that are harkened back to frequently, most of them last a few days or weeks, trying to capture a particular moment that quickly decays.
The song 'Old Town Road' ,and the TikTok trend that accompanied it that catapulted Lil Nas X to fame was staunchly part of the latter category.
Even after achieving 1 billion+ streams and the longest running song on billboard it's weird that Lil Nas X has managed to last this long. But he has and now there he's released his debut album and it's...hollow.
That feels like a weird sentiment to have on an album where Lil Nas X is his most open, most vulnerable yet there is also a weird distance to it. It's less obvious on the lead single 'MONTERO( Call me by Your Name)' where he openly discusses his relationship with another guy in a way that hasn't really been done before in mainstream music (it's possible to listen to Tyler the Creator, Sam Smith, Frank Ocean or other mainstream LGBT artists and stay ignorant about their sexuality but you can't really do that with Lil Nas X). It's an openness that's accompanied by a video where Lil Nas X rides a pole down to hell before giving Satan a lapdance and then killing him to become the new Satan (apparently, the laws for becoming the devil are the same as they are for becoming Santa in 'The Santa Claus' movies). Yet despite all this there is a sort of distance in the song, a sort of hollowness.But it did make some good memes though.
That seems to frequently be the end product of most of the songs on 'MONTERO'- songs that are OK and so popular online that their mediocrity partly fades away. It's happened to the lead singles 'MONTERO' and 'INDUSTRY BABY' and is likely to happen other songs on the album - I feel like Megan Thee Stallion's verse on 'DOLLAR SIGN SLIME' is going to be inescapable for the next month.
All of this is shame as Lil Nas X is clearly talented. The latter songs show his genuine ability. Am I Dreaming with Miley Cyrus shows him expressing a fear that all success is fleeting. While Void, soundtracked by a minimal drum beat discusses the grimmer aspects of his upbringing. Yet for me, these moments of vulnerability don't fully pierce the hollowness of the album - regardless of how soul bearing he is.