“I Am A Rapper, I Am A Popstar”, A MONTERO Album Review

Ian Valleau (he/him), Staff Writer

Lil Nas X, known for his 2018 hit “Old Town Road”, continued his hot streak with the fantastic album “MONTERO”. He continues to disprove the people who labeled him a “one hit wonder”.

The album starts off with a previously dropped single, “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”. This radio pop hit is certainly a banger and a great way to start off the album and has everyone singing along.

Following MONTERO is arguably the best song of the album with “DEAD RIGHT NOW”. The ominous beat and life story told by Nas X is emotional and powerful at the same time. “2018 I was in my sisters house the whole summer, songs wasn’t doing numbers, whole life was going under”

The next track is another previously released single “INDUSTRY BABY”. This is the ultimate hype song. The banging drums and the grand trumpets can get anyone motivated. Afterwards is another banger verse by another new to fame artist Jack Harlow that is just the perfect cap to this already great song and elevates it to a new level.

“THAT’S WHAT I WANT” is another great radio pop hit. The hook gets repetitive, however, it’s still a phenomenally produced track with background vocals and the song really has it all. 

“SCOOP” follows the intro track to the song “THE ART OF REALIZATION” and provides us with the first new feature of the album with Doja Cat. With this song, Nas X proves that he can put out joking lyrics but it can still be good. “No I ain’t feeling sorry, been in the kitchen, been in the kitchen bumping Nasarati,” which is his old mix tape.

“ONE OF ME” is a more disappointing song. It’s very repetitive which is easier to tolerate  because there is very little disappointment on this album, but you would think that a song with Elton John would give Nas X inspiration to make a great song but it is just not there with this track. The track would also be taken to new heights if Elton John would actually sing on the track instead of just producing.

The second half of this album goes into some sad and deeper tracks with a few exceptions, and Nas X continues to kill it. The duality of this album is amazing. “LOST IN THE CITADEL” is one of those deeper tracks, but overall forgettable and definitely not a staple on this album. Not a song that you would think about when this album is mentioned. 

“DOLLA SIGN SLIME” is one of the 2 exceptions of the sad and deeper second half of the album. While it is hype and has a good sound, it doesn’t feel like it belongs on the album. It feels like something Nas X would drop at the beginning of his career as compared to where he seems more mature.

“TALES OF DOMINICA” goes back to the deep emotional style and provides one of the best songs on the album. The guitar and dark lyrics about Nas X’s past really make you want to lay down and close your eyes as you blast your eardrums to this track. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel like you can float, and that means it’s a special track. 

“SUN GOES DOWN” is the final song dropped before the rest of MONTERO. Another radio hit from Nas X proves that he is going to be in the game, releasing great music for a long time. More sorrowful lyrics about Nas X’s past show how he came up from nothing and proved everyone wrong and can be motivating for anyone in a situation like his and shows that there is hope.

“VOID” is similar to “LOST IN THE CITADEL” in the aspect that  it has sad bars but in the end it doesn’t seem worth mentioning, and repeats what we’ve already heard on this album. However, the hook is very pretty and shows that Nas X can rap and sing, something rare and very impressive.

“DON’T WANT IT” is probably the best intro to a song on the whole album. The way the beat fades in is fantastic. This is the other exception to the sad second half of the album. He provides clips of the news talking about his Grammys and the song is basically a whole flex, and we love to see it.

“LIFE AFTER SALEM ” shows yet again how Nas X can sing and rap. You can absolutely see that he has been working on his craft. While other artists rely on autotune and features, it is evident that Nas X is putting all his energy into improving as an artist. 

And finally, the outro track to the LP, “AM I DREAMING” is the perfect conclusion. Nas X saying “Never forget me, and everything I’ve done,” makes the listener feel and reflect on what Nas X has done thus far, and how his music will continue changing lives after he retires. Miley Cyrus adds just another “icing on the cake” verse  for this track and this album.

Lil Nas X proved a lot of people wrong with this record, and shows that he can do it all. Lil Nas X’s MONTERO is a solid 7/10.

To listen to the album on Spotify, click on this link.