After a busy year that not only saw him release a blockbuster album but also redefine what it means to be an LGBTQ pop star — and appear on the cover of Variety — Lil Nas X is primed to be a top Grammy contender. The 22-year old rapper, already a six-time nominee and two-time winner, paved the way for his long-awaited debut album, “Montero,” with a wave of masterfully orchestrated viral moments. If there were a trophy for most savvy internet user, Nas would be a shoo-in.
The album reveals the man behind the memes — opening up about self-acceptance, mental health and his sexuality. While musically, its deft mix of pop and hip-hop could follow Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” to album of the year.
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Nas also seems likely for record and song of the year noms for “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” The track and its eye-popping video shredded the hip-hop rulebook with sexually charged and unapologetically queer lyrics and imagery, a watershed moment that spurred conversation about sexuality and representation, prying open the door for others to follow.
Beyond the “big three,” Nas could be nominated in multiple hip-hop and even pop categories. “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” could get a nom for pop solo performance, while the hard-hitting “Industry Baby,” a collaboration with Jack Harlow, is a strong contender for rap. Similarly, “Montero” could be nominated for rap or pop album, depending on how it is ultimately classified. Less likely but still possible, “That’s What I Want,” which slyly channels Outkast’s Grammy-winning 2003 song “Hey Ya,” could even sneak a nom in the pop categories.
However, another category feels like a fairly safe bet: music video. Dual noms are a distinct possibility given the viral success of Nas’ hell-bound twerking in “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and the controversy surrounding the nude shower choreography in “Industry Baby.”
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