Video Review: Lil Nas X “Sun Goes Down”

Lil Nas X, lit in violet, opens his translucent eye. Mediating over the ocean, he motions for the water to approach. The water takes a seal shape and puncture him in the chest. Out of the water, several pods emerge. He views each memory again.

He zooms into the memory of him working at a fast food restaurant. A 17-year-old Lil Nas X mops the floor of Taco Bell. Nas X watches his 17-year-old walk in the parking lot at night. His 17-year-old self gets into the car with a twentysomething man and stares at the window on the way home. Current Nas X sits on the bed while his 17-year-old self prays.

In class, 17-year-old Nas X posts on Twitter during class. He puts his books in his locker and stares at a sign for 2017 prom. Lit in aqua, he wears a white suit as he walks into the gym on prom night. As he gets some punch, he sees 18-year-old girls and boys dance together. A 17-year-old girl and boy form a heart with their hands as they take a photo. He walks past the clear crystal beaded curtain and cries in the bathroom stall. His current self places his hand on 17-year-old Nas X’s shoulder as he stands in front of the bathroom mirror. His arm around him, he walks with his 17-year-old self.

His 17-year-old self walks onto the dancefloor by himself and dances. Lit in hot pink and aqua, his classmates join him as he dances. Lit in violet, he closes his eye and it becomes translucent.

Rating: 5/5

Lil Nas X replays his newfound memory of having friends at prom. He talks to some people in his English composition class. They take pictures of themselves with him. He checks his phone and sees about a dozen friend requests. His notifications ping throughout the evening as they drive around. A couple notifications from Twitter pop up, asking where he is. He mutes his stan account and deletes it. There was no need for it now.

In present day, Lil Nas X sets up a lunch date with a couple of people he met from prom. It was usually at the end of the month. One of his friends was going through a horrible breakup. He makes a note on his phone to pick up some vodka. Another friend texts him, “did you hear?” He responds that he did and invites the friend over for the night. He adds some wine to the list.

Lil Nas X sips his wine as he talks with his friend. She says she tried really hard to make it work. While pouring herself a glass of vodka, she says, “you remember at prom, right?” He nods, although he wasn’t sure what she meant. He knew the dancing. However, any conversations were vague. His second friend eats a chip and says she’s better off. Lil Nas X says he thinks he drank the wine a little too fast and walks into the bathroom. He closes his eyes and tries to imagine the memories. But they weren’t there.

Lil Nas X mediates over the ocean in the morning. He chooses a memory of seeing his two friends in the hallway. The memory evaporates. He scrolls through the memories again and sees it’s not available. A message reads “error.” Lil Nas X presses it again and again. A kind robotic woman’s voice tells him the memory isn’t an original and cannot be modified. She urges him to find a similar moment. He closes his eyes and tries to think of one. However, none exist. He ends the mediation and returns to to the shore.

Director: Lil Nas X & Psycho Films Year: 2021

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her poetry has been published in the White Wall Review and 45 Magazine.