Lil Nas X in the Aesthetic of the Extreme

Lil Nas X’s music video for his song “Montero” represents his struggle of being a black gay man in society today. X is not a stranger to frequent haters, especially Bible thumpers who often say things like “you belong in hell.” X is a successful music artist who isn’t afraid to express who he is which triggers these religious haters.

So to clap back at the haters in his music video he makes a lot of religious references to hell and heaven. The most iconic and extreme part of the music video is when he leaves Heaven after kissing another man and descends to hell via a stripper pole while wearing thigh high leather boots and proceeds to give the devil a lap dance. After the video was released he also tweeted and said “is this what you mean when you say go to hell?” which many people found amusing.

After seeing this video I was more shocked about the strong message that it portrayed rather than the actions. Since it was Lil Nas X I would expect something flashy but I think the story behind it makes the actions even more significant.

The feeling this provoked for me moved through a series of shock, empowerment, and then empathy. I was shocked by the initial actions of the music video itself, then I recognized the meaning behind it and thought good for him clapping back at the haters. Then I also felt empathetic towards him because of how people treat him just because of his race and sexuality.

I think the empowerment aspect of the video resonated with me the most and I’m sure it did for a lot of other people as well. I learned that by him making that video it probably helped a lot of other people feel good about themselves, especially those that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

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