A couple days ago, the promo clip for SNL's Season 46 finale aired, promising us the "best show of season," which we totally believe, since Queen Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy is hosting, with Lil Nas X as the musical guest. Lil Nas X fans are especially excited, since the diamond certified rapper is one of the biggest and most buzzed about musicians this year. After "Old Town Road" went viral in 2019, it was clear that there was no stopping Lil Nas X's genius.
Lil Nas X gained more momentum after his music video for "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" was lauded for encouraging self-expression. "I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist," Lil Nas X told The Guardian.
And days before the rapper's appearance on SNL, he released the video for "SUN GOES DOWN," a hopeful narrative that shows high school Nas as his own guardian angel, saving him from suicidal thoughts, doubts about his sexuality, and self-consciousness about the color of his skin. Lil Nas X has been extremely vocal about his identity, and why he hopes his music will help others who are queer and/or feel marginalized by society. If you love the rapper, it helps to know a little bit more about his origins.
The meaning behind Lil Nas X's real name.
Lil Nas X's real name is Montero Lamar Hill, but he chose to use Lil Nas X as his stage name, since it was his internet alias. "When I started doing music, I was like, 'I want to have fun with this. And every new rapper's name is Lil, Lil, Lil. 'What if I was Lil Nas? That'd be funny.' So I was like, 'Alright, bet. I'll be Lil Nas.' And I added the X later on," Nas explained to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. However, there's a lot more to his name than just a name.
When Montero became Lil Nas X, he decided it was time to come out as gay. He told The Guardian, "The honest truth is, I planned to die with the secret … But that changed when I became Lil Nas X."
As for why he was named Montero? "So my mom wanted the car, the [Mitsubishi] Montero, and she never got one ... So yeah, I'm named after a car," Lil Nas X explained on The Tonight Show.
Still, "Montero" became the name of the hit 2021 song that started the conversation around queerness and how the rapper hoped he'd be able to reach those who feel like they need to hide their identity in order to conform to what is "expected" of them. And that's really meaningful. Nas himself came out in 2019.
"You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the f--k out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be," Nas told The Guardian.
Now that we know all this, "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" has even more meaning than ever knew.
Watch SNL tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC.