Lil Nas X album cover features a tribute to Donnie Darko

Lil Nas X reveals that cult 2001 film Donnie Darko inspired part of the cover design for his debut album, Montero.

Lil Nas X revealed that the 2001 cult movie Donnie Darko inspired part of the cover of his first album, Montero.

Commenting on the album cover reveal on August 31, self-proclaimed “stan account” @audnasx tweeted a larger image of Montero with the comment “Is it like a water snake / caterpillar? To like!!!!Signal reinforcing their question again on September 21 with the hashtag #AskMONTERO, @audnasx got a response from Lil Nas X himself: ‘have you ever seen Donnie Darko? “Lil Nas X has attached a picture of the Donnie Darko visual that inspired the “water snake” on the Montero cover in this answer.


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In the movie, Donnie Darko, directed by Richard Kelly, the main character (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) has the power to see the future, among other seemingly delusional but actually supernatural abilities. The future of the people is visualized in the film through liquid-like CGI tendrils that emerge from people’s chests. Although Donnie’s science professor Dr. Kenneth Monnitoff (Noah Wyle) believes that seeing the future doesn’t necessarily mean a specific future, Donnie believes differently and is ultimately right – free will is an illusion, and the ability Donnie’s Seeing the Future shows him exactly what is destined “in the channel of God.”

Lil Nas X is no stranger to time travel tales: the official music video for his hit “Old Town Road” is also a time travel story, though much simpler than Donnie Darko. Religious symbolism throughout Donnie Darko could also be paralleled with Lil Nas X’s provocative reuse of Christian imagery in the music video “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. Even so, the direct Donnie Darko reference in the Montero the album cover isn’t something many would realize if the artist himself hadn’t pointed it out, especially since Donnie Darkothe timestream visuals of were themselves inspired by various “liquid metal” special effects from films like Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Donnie Darko is far from the only reference to pop culture worked on in the Montero blanket. Lil Nas X previously tweeted that its own positioning in the pocket is inspired by a Sponge Bob SquarePants same (Spongebob has been a frequent inspiration for Lil Nas X). Many have also compared the overall aesthetic of the cover to the art of Lisa Frank. Lil Nas X’s outfits also made reference to Gilgamesh from the Fate / franchise and Pain de Naruto.

KEEP READING: Lil Nas X Responds To Avengers Fan Theory He Survived Thanos’ Breakup

Source: Twitter

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