Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero, will debut at 8 p.m. ET, Jan. 27 on HBO, and stream on companion service Max. The feature film, which had its world premiere at last year's Toronto Film Festival, documents the rapper during two months of performing during his 2022-23 Long Live Montero global tour.
Through a press release from TIFF's CEO Cameron Bailey describing Lil Nas X as "challenging boundaries and reshaping the artistic landscape," the film also captures the star discussing a career in the entertainment industry as an out Black and queer performer. The film was directed by Carlos López Estrada and Zac Manuel, and received largely positive reviews out of the festival.
However, it also appears that he is about to embark on what has become a popular industry trend: a new "era" in 2024.
The 24-year-old singer has been teasing what looks to be a change in his musical and visual presentation. After posting a 75-second video on X last November, his rhetorical caption — "y'all mind if i enter my christian era ?" — signaled a radical turn in the follow-up to his 2021 debut Montero.
The "greatest comeback of all time" sounds like vintage Lil Nas X hyperbole, but there's no denying his record-breaking figures on the charts: "Old Town Road," a 2019 remix of his 2018 original, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, is the all-time Billboard Singles No. 1 champ, where it spent 19 weeks at the top spot. The song went on to win countless accolades, including two Grammys, and a nomination for Record of the Year.
All the news surrounding something new wouldn't be complete without a visit to the past. Comedian Dave Chapelle, himself no stranger to disputes, has re-ignited the controversy surrounding the 2021 video for Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)."
In Chapelle's latest Netflix special The Dreamer, he recalls meeting the rapper at a party, taken aback by his presence and hearing that he wanted to be in a Chapelle video. He then proceeds to describe how a young Lil Nas X would respond to the grade school question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", recounting the music video's narrative — one filled with Biblical references, but ending with the rapper engaging in explicit/devil/Hell NSFW visuals — which led to the rapper's eventual viral clapback.
"Y'all gotta let call me by your name go, me and the devil broke up three years ago," Lil Nas X wrote in an X/Twitter post on Jan. 3. "Y'all acting like children of divorce." End scene.
As of Jan. 4, Lil Nas X has announced new material will drop Jan. 12, and that a preview video of an as-yet-unnamed music video — which he claims to have shown to Rhianna — will be premiering "early in a few churches in NY, Chicago, Houston & LA," and signing off with a white heart emoji.