The Brilliant Strategy That Propelled Lil Nas X’s “Montero” to No. 1

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X. Photo by Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutterstock (10481445am)

It’s been less than two weeks since Lil Nas X dropped his latest single “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”, and it’s the only song everyone’s been talking about since its release. This catchy tune easily debuted at the Billboard Hot 100, but how did it soar to the top so fast?

Music Video

It’s highly unlikely that “Montero” would create so much buzz if it wasn’t for its viral music video. Filled with Biblical and mythological scenes, this symbolic visual was created with the goal to dismantle “the throne of judgment and punishment” that kept many LGBT+ people from embracing their true selves.

Social Media Engagement

The music video for “Montero” was fully embraced by the queer community, but it was quite shocking for more conservative viewers. Like Cardi B’s “WAP”, this video received a lot of backlash on social media, but this actually helped it reach no. 1. Lil Nas X didn’t take criticism laying down and created even more buzz with his sharp retorts to some of his biggest critics.

Challenges & Memes

“Montero” and the reactions that surrounded its release sparked many viral memes—some created by Lil Nas X himself! He also asked his fans to share pole dancing videos to the beat of his latest no. 1 hit, followed by a hashtag #PoleDanceToHell.