The rapper joins Jack Harlow in the NSFW prison visuals for the Kanye West-produced track
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Lil Nas X’s new video — for the Kanye West-produced track “Industry Baby” — joins the rapper three months into a five-year stint in Montero State Prison, where he dances naked in the shower before escaping with the help of featured artist Jack Harlow.
Adding to the narrative, Nas posted a teaser ahead of the music video that sees him take himself to court over a fictitious Nike case. The crime? His infamous “Satan Shoes” (which were actually recalled as part of a settlement with the label).
Of course, like seemingly every Lil Nas X release, the “Industry Baby” video has sparked its fair share of real-world controversy as well. And, as usual, he’s wasted no time in calling out his haters.
“White corporate music execs funded a music video with Lil Nas X, where a bunch of Black men are in prison twerking,” writes on Twitter user. “And the lone white man, Jack Harlow, is sexually involved with a FEMALE guard. But all the Black men are sexually engaging with each other. This is progress?”
“Lemme explain,” Nas replies, offering a characteristically tongue-in-cheek response: “Lil nas = gay, so he wit boy. jack harlow = straight, so he wit girl. got it??”
In another tweet, he says: “All jokes aside the idea of a gay agenda doesn’t make sense. if someone influences you to suck cock you probably already wanted to suck cock.”
Harlow himself has also pitched in on Twitter, saying that he was “honoured to be a part” of the video. “Nas wrote the whole treatment for this video and I followed his lead every step of the way,” he adds. “If he had asked me to be in that shower scene I woulda been in that shower scene. I just let the mastermind cook.”
Since the release of “Industry Baby”, Lil Nas X has also addressed a tweet that seemingly takes aim at his sexuality, comparing him to historic artists “who happen to be gay” — listing Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and more — and claiming he’s an “industry plant created for pure shock value”.
“Many, if not all, of these artists had to hide their sexuality for majority of their career,” Nas writes. “You seem to only respect gay artists when the gay part is tucked away. you don’t like me because i embrace my sexuality instead of hiding it and never speaking on it for your comfort.”
all jokes aside the idea of a gay agenda doesn’t make sense. if someone influences you to suck cock you probably already wanted to suck cock.— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 24, 2021
In response to claims that the video makes light of the US prison system and its unfair treatment of Black people, meanwhile, the musician has directed followers to the Bail X Fund, a collaboration with the Bail Project to help end cash bail in the US.
“On a serious note, i know the pain that incarceration brings to a family, and the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community,” he writes in an announcement on Twitter. “That’s why i teamed up with @bailproject to create the Bail X Fund. let’s bring people home!”
Watch the controversial video for “Industry Baby” below.