On Friday, Lil Nas X released his latest, long-awaited single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. Arriving alongside a video that sees him descend into Hell on a stripper pole and give Satan a lap dance, the track provoked mass outrage among right-wing commentators (probably not helped by the subsequent announcement that he’s sold 666 pairs of “Satan shoes” filled with human blood). However, fans have celebrated its unapologetic representation of queer sexuality and the wild fantasy world that the rapper inhabits.
Among those fans, apparently, is André Aciman, the author behind Call Me By Your Name, who calls Lil Nas X’s nod to the bestselling novel in the track’s title “gratifying” and “humbling” in an interview with them. “If Call Me By Your Name had even the slightest influence on Lil Nas X's music, then that's beyond anything I could have ever imagined or hoped for,” he says.
His liking for Lil Nas X seemingly predated the new track, though, as he adds that his first introduction to the rapper was the record-breaking hit “Old Town Road”, which he discovered via his son. “I called to ask him about this song that I kept hearing at the gym. I wanted to download it on Spotify,” he says. “After a series of bad imitations and descriptions, he was finally able to figure out what I was talking about: ‘Old Town Road.’”
Presumably, the CMBYN reference on “Montero” came as a pretty pleasant surprise, then. However, Aciman also suggests that it resonated on a deeper level: “It reminds me that how others relate to and interpret this novel is often more meaningful than the actual words on the page.”