Lil Nas X goes full-on Lisa Frank in the cover art for his debut album Montero, which he revealed today via social media along with a reminder of its release date, September 17. The cover carries over the fantasy theme from his “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video, with glittering columns overlooking a placid stream, all colored in vibrant but soft shades of violet and pink. In the center of the frame, Nas himself hovers in profile (and in the nude) surrounded by a lens flare rainbow.
Nas has spent the last several months hyping up Montero‘s release and proving that no one in the music business is better at promoting a project than he is — not even Drake or Kanye, who’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to out-troll each other but haven’t put out much (good) music between the two of them. Building on the controversy sparked by his “Montero” music video, Nas teamed up with with a shoe customizer to sell “Satan Shoes” with blood in them, riling Nike and conservative commentators alike, then doubled-down with an onstage kiss during his performance of the song on the BET Awards. Just when Nas’ detractors had reached their breaking point, he really showed out in the “Industry Baby” video, generating even more attention through homophobic rants from elder rappers. It’s all led up to September 17, when Lil Nas will release the debut album that will be sure to have everyone talking.
Montero is out 9/17 via Columbia Records. Pre-save it here.