Lil Nas’s career has seen him become one of hip-hop’s most successful and popular artists. A pioneer of graphic design and lyricism, Nas’s music is steeped in sound and style that borders on the fantastical. His new album, “”””MONTERO”””” shows no signs of slowing down and is set to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. To celebrate, “”””Lil Nas”””” has created a series of “”””promotional”””” billboards across the nation in an effort to drive demand for his album and gain awareness for his upcoming concert tour.””””
The billboards feature images of the rapper with the slogans “”””We Support”””” and “”””We Hold You.”””” To promote the album, as well as promote his social-media accounts, he has also created a series of CGI-animated posters that play at different speeds and he will also be shirtless on the billboards. Here, the New Orleans-based artist discusses how he came up with the concept for the billboards, his history with promoting albums through art and why he’s excited about MONTERO.
While most rap artists rely on wholesome imagery and catchy raps for their promotion, “”””Lil Nas”””” has chosen to go out with a bang. The “”””cold-hearted philosopher”””” has released a series of self-parody billboards across Los Angeles claiming he is bringing “”””real”” rap to the masses via the X Factor-style judging system.
Each billboard features the hip hop artist in a different city with an offer for fans to win free merchandise or enter a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to New York City. Lil’ Nas was inspired to create the billboards after seeing other artists plaster their cities with promotional material only to have it – and their sales – diminish after the initial publicity effort, according to a press release announcing the initiative. But instead of letting his potential fans down, he’s planning on using his newfound success to give back to the culture he’s grown accustomed to loving while also leveraging his position to push for positive social change in America.
Lil Nas is no stranger to PR. With each release, the Queens, N.Y. native creates more fans and helps his cause further with his unique brand of humorous lyricism and music. These latest billboards are a great way for him to reach out to new fans and keep the momentum going as he prepares for what is sure to be an explosion in popularity for his upcoming album. “”””They want me to drop this album like it’s my last,”””” he raps on “”””Mama Said””””, adding “”””I’m already getting fan mail from people I don’t even know.””””
With just one tweet, the Queens native has already garnered over 140,000 likes on his official Twitter account and recently announced that there will be “”””fake”””” versions of the billboards featuring other artists and songs as well as real advertisements for NFX Products—the clothing brand sponsored by Nas. According to Forbes, the billboards will cost between $3,000-$5,000 each. There’s no word yet on whether or not the artist plans on placing any of his own billboards in the future
Lil Nas arrived to the New York area last week to do some promotion for his upcoming album, but his visit led to some interesting things. For one, he decided to promote his own album instead of Future or JAY-Z’s. He explains: