After weeks of teasing fans with exclusive looks of his debut album ‘Montero’, Lil Nas X revealed the official album cover art for ‘Montero’ via social media on Tuesday.
The album cover features Lil Nas X naked and levitating in the air, surrounded by a circular rainbow halo in a hyper-saturated, technicolor version of the Garden of Eden. Vibrant green grass, shocking pink trees, and buildings inspired by Greco-Roman architecture also decorate the lush landscape, while several butterflies float along a seemingly infinite stream.
Following the reveal, Lil Nas X was quick to share what inspired the album cover’s creative direction. Turns out, SpongeBob SquarePants provided the rapper with some of the material he needed, specifically a meme of the popular underwater sponge levitating, doctored to looks as if it’s listening to soul-cleansing music on an MP3 player. Lil Nas also hinted to keep an eye out for another surprise this week.
“Tracklist tomorrow!” he later tweeted.
Another point of reference for the rapper? Artist John Stephens’ ‘Genesis II’ piece. “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array,” Lil Nas X tweeted along with a side-by-side comparison of the piece of art and his album cover, quoting the Bible’s Genesis 2.
“By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”
The cover art reveal for ‘Montero’ comes after Lil Nas shared a teaser for the album, which consisted of four versions of him waiting to be born from the comfort of butterfly cocoons suspended from vibrant purple branches. “Montero, wake up,” the rapper’s voice says throughout the clip. “It’s time.”
The American rapper’s album will have 15 singles like ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’ and ‘Industry Baby’.
The singer-songwriter rose to prominence with the release of his country rap single ‘Old Town Road’. Several remixes of the song were released, the most popular of which featured country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
He was the most-nominated male artist at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, where he won awards for Best Music Video and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
‘Old Town Road’ earned him two MTV Video Music Awards including Song of the Year, and the American Music Award for Favourite Rap/Hip Hop Song.
Lil Nas X is also the first openly LGBTQ black artist to win a Country Music Association award.