Lil Nas X recently warned fans that “all the streaming services” were preparing to remove his “Montero” track, and Columbia Records described the potential takedown as “out of our control.” But the song is still live on DSPs for listeners in the United States – and unavailable to those in certain other regions.
The precise reason(s) behind the geo-specific takedown remain unclear, but in a brief clip that one fan tweeted to Lil Nas X yesterday morning, it seemed that “Montero” paused directly after being played on Spotify. The 22-year-old rapper responded that the removal was “happening on all the streaming services.”
A series of other takedown-focused tweets from the “Old Town Road” artist looked to further excite – and worry – fans, though the Georgia native in these messages didn’t elaborate upon the cause of the possible removal.
“since call me by your name is no longer working on many streaming services i will be uploading the audio to pornhub at 3pm est,” he penned yesterday. “not even joking. everybody stream call me by your name hard today because it may no longer be available tomorrow and there’s nothing i can really do about it. thanks for all the support tho!”
Lil Nas X published another tweet yet on the subject yesterday evening – seemingly raising more questions than he answered. “thank you to everyone for using your voices. i’m not placing any blame on the streaming services. most people have said they are able to go and redownload. please let me know if you guys still have a problem.”
Similarly, Sony Music’s Columbia Records relayed in a tweet: “Thanks for all your comments regarding @LilNasX ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name),’ It’s unfortunately out of our control but we are doing everything possible to keep the song up on streaming services. We will keep you up to date as we hear more. Thank you for understanding.”
Lastly, Billboard specified in a report yesterday “that the song is not being removed” – albeit without shedding light upon the circumstances surrounding the matter. Furthermore, a multitude of fans are expressing their outrage with the prospect of a “Call Me By Your Name” takedown, though few of these messages involve actual experiences with removals.
In the United States, the song appeared to be live on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer at the time of publishing. That said, some outside the U.S. are indicating that they can no longer stream “Montero” on their preferred platforms.
“@Apple what the f–k is this y has my favorite song been removed I literally listened to it yesterday morning in the car. Someone has some explaining to do,” vented one fan who appears to reside in Trinidad & Tobago, judging by his profile description on Instagram. Included with the tweet is a screenshot showing that the track “is not currently available in your country or region.”
Others have stated that “Montero” is presently unavailable to stream in Canada, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Norway. (Spotify support responded to the latter individual’s tweet, noting that “sometimes content gets temporarily removed because of licensing changes.”) And while observers have characterized the occurrence as a “publicity stunt” designed to drum up interest in the work, many are adamant that the selective pulldown resulted from the song’s controversial subject matter.
More as this develops.