Lil Nas X releases new album “MONTERO”

Lil Nas X’s unique marketing strategy reveals creativity and strategy


Madeline Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

Rapper Montero Hill, who goes by the stage name Lil Nas X, released his debut album “MONTERO” on Sept. 17. Hill, known for the country-rap force “Old Town Road” that seized the charts in 2019, was met with instant success, as several of the tracks made it to the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there. 

While the album itself is top-quality pop-rap, the music will not be the focus of this review. What truly caught my attention was Hill’s unique marketing and promotion in the weeks leading up to the release of “MONTERO.” 

In the days before the album was released, my roommate and I couldn’t help but watch, transfixed, at Hill’s promotional content. Starting Sept. 2, Hill took to social media and revealed his “pregnancy” and his due date – Sept. 17 – the day he would “give birth” to his album. 

He posted videos pretending to have contractions throughout the two-week period before the “birth” of the album. And, on the night before, he posted his “birth” video, which, if watched the minute it was released, lined up with the official release at midnight on Sept. 17. 

As if pretending to be pregnant and wearing a fake pregnant stomach for weeks wasn’t enough, Hill held a baby shower for himself two days before the release of “MONTERO.” Cleverly, the gifts were all tagged as being from artists featured on the album – Megan Thee Stallion, Jack Harlow, Doja Cat and Elton John, among others. 

Hill also hosted an early ‘90s-style talk show, in which he plays himself, the host and every other role in the video. He used social media to his advantage and made it his own platform. Instagram, Twitter and TikTok should all be owned by Lil Nas X now. 

As if the fake pregnancy, baby shower and hour-long talk show weren’t enough, Hill had billboards plastered across to the tune of local TV lawyer commercials. With messages like “Do you hate Lil Nas X? You might be entitled to financial compensation” and “Do you miss the real America? Go to to see how we can take our country back!” Hill captured the American public as his audience, and that is the mark of a genius.  

Another mark of Hill’s genius is his defiance of gender roles through the narrative he constructed in marketing “MONTERO.”  

As a gay black artist, Hill’s struggle with fitting into the stereotypical world of rap is marked by constant criticism – that he doesn’t belong in the genre, that he doesn’t fit the mold of a rapper, that he shouldn’t have the success that he’s achieved. In his marketing for “MONTERO,” he played this criticism to his advantage and boy did he get an advantage.  

Even if you’re not a fan of Hill’s, you couldn’t help but stare when he posted a video of him having contractions or danced at the MTV Video Music Awards in hot pink, glittery boxers. 

Why is that? Because he’s a Black male rapper in an industry that perpetuates the idea that Black male rappers need to be tough and masculine and, most notably, straight. Marketing his album by being pregnant and portraying the stages of being pregnant creates a narrative that he doesn’t need to be straight or stereotypically masculine to have a place in the industry. 

His use of the color pink destigmatizes the color as being inherently feminine and allows him to reclaim his identity as a Black gay man in the rap industry. 

It’s no doubt that Hill’s marketing is a stroke of genius, and his album follows suit. “MONTERO” is available for streaming on all platforms. 

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