“Let’s go!” Lil Nas X exclaimed Sunday evening on the stage of the VMAs.
Videos by American Songwriter
For the 22-year-old “Old Town Road” rapper, it was a big night—he took home the top prize for Video of the Year, as well as awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Direction. The wins were all for his single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which comes ahead of his debut album, Montero, due this Friday, September 17.
The “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video made headlines when it first premiered in March—with technically dazzling effects and grand imagery alluding to everything from the Bible to rococo fashion, modern gay culture, and more, it was the subject of both controversy and adoration. Consider too the lap dance scene (which concludes with Lil Nas X killing Satan) and the ingenious roll-out of the video on social media, and you can begin to see how Lil Nas X is quickly becoming one of the leading artistic voices of his generation.
“First I wanna say thank you to the gay agenda—let’s go gay agenda!” Lil Nas X said in his acceptance speech on Sunday night. “I love you guys so much I will not take this for granted!”
Lil Nas X also gave a riveting performance at the VMAs, delivering renditions of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and his other latest single, “Industry Baby”—for the latter song, Lil Nas X was joined by collaborator, Jack Harlow. With a marching band, a pink prison (named “Montero State Prison”), uber-sensual dancing, and a level of confidence that stood out even by VMAs standards, the performance was an inspiring demonstration of Lil Nas X’s articulate artistic prowess.