By guest author Ben Revermann
In case you didn’t know, Lil Nas X has been reaching your children for years now. He is black, he is gay and he’s a musical performer. He checks all the diversity boxes, it would be hard to screw this up. When you become a role model for half the kids in the country, as Spiderman’s Uncle, Ben Parker would say, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X, ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, was released to YouTube on July 18th of 2019. It has over 700 million views and has been enjoyed by children all over the world. Many kids can be heard on playgrounds chanting the song. There’s even a video from a classroom at Lander Elementary, May 2019. As Lil Nas is set to take the stage in front of a whole school of cheering children, he’s quoted as saying it was to be, “The biggest show of my life.” He said he doesn’t even get nervous anymore.
There were a couple questionable lyrics from the song, “Bull riding and boobies”, is one, “Cheated on my baby, you can go and ask her” is another. I would prefer kids not singing that if I had the choice. It does cross the line, but the kids liked it and at least it wasn’t about killing or harming others, and Lander Elementary thought the lyrics were OK, all those kids were singing along. Trust me, there are far worse rap songs, and a few bad country songs as well. Not only did the video feature that guy who had the achy breaky heart, it also had Chris Rock on a horse. It was cute and funny.
Lil Nas X then did an episode of Sesame Street in May 2020, and he even sang with Elmo. Isn’t that adorable? And hey, since that song did so well with the kids, why not release a children’s book entitled “C is for Country”, Jan 2021, which made it to the New York Times Bestsellers list. With this momentum there’s nothing that can keep this guy from hitting the stratosphere, he’s unstoppable.
So after a cute song, performing for little kids, Sesame Street and a children’s book, what does Montero Lamar Hill (his actual name) do? He releases a song called “Call me by Your Name” where he slides down a stripper pole to Hades, gives Satan a disgusting lap dance before snapping his neck and taking his place in hell. When the justifiable outrage from the parents happens, what is his reply? “I’m not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children.”
You just spent all this time doing stuff for kids, was it all a lie? Hey Montero, weren’t you making a lot of money?
Frank Sinatra joined the Three Flashes in 1935. The last time he made money singing onstage was 1995. That means a child who first heard him sing at five, would then be sixty-five when Old Blue Eyes retired. That’s sixty years of possible sales Frank and the record companies enjoyed, and are still enjoying long after his death. There’s even a Sirius Radio channel dedicated to him today. That’s great marketing. Entire generations adore Frank.
But the parents don’t like this new direction for Nas, and since they’re the ones in control of the kids, what does Lil Nas X do? He releases Nike666 Satan shoes, with an actual drop of human blood in the sole. He then performs that audio abortion, “Call Me By Your Name”, on Saturday Night Live, and has a crotch related wardrobe malfunction while surrounded by sweaty guys licking each other on a stripper pole in front of a hellscape. In case you’re wondering, the lyrics from his songs are so badly written that the video’s rely on a lot of cheap effects and dry plot. Old Town Road is actually his best song.
If it’s shock value Lil Nas is after, we’ve seen it before. Burning crosses in Madonna’s Like a Prayer in 1989. Sinead O’Connor ripping up a picture of the Pope in 1992. Marilyn Manson calling himself the Anti-Christ Superstar and releasing an album of the same name in 1996; all his videos were weirdo nightmares. We’ve all been there and done that, it’s getting old. And don’t use the fact that you’re gay as a defense, George Michael and Elton John did just fine and they didn’t have to act like pigs.
Montero Lamar Hill, sorry, I mean, Lil Nas X, what is it you’re trying to do? Who exactly are you trying to appeal to? I asked a few of my gay friends if they liked Montero’s devil stuff or his new music. They said he’s an idiot and they aren’t watching. He really had everyone going for a moment there, those kids could’ve grown up to be your biggest fans with some major sales and a huge following. Maybe it’s my fault for not paying close enough attention at first, as a parent it is my job to police what they watch, but I was fooled.
Plus, lately Saturday Night Live has somehow made it impossible for half the country to laugh anymore. They know they’re funny, they know the deplorables are just too stupid to get the jokes, and they couldn’t possibly be wrong, right? As for Nike, screw you too. Before you think me too old fashioned, remember the quote Montero said about those kids who loved him was, “I’m not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children.” Don’t worry Lil Nas, me and my kids are done with you, you don’t have to tell me twice.
By Ben Revermann
Ben Revermann is a speck of red in a Minnesota sea of blue, a Navy veteran, and father of four. A graduate of South Central, follow him here on Twitter.