Lil Nas X And Jack Harlow Team Up To Break Out Of Montero State Prison In New Music Video For Single “Industry Baby”

Lil Nas X And Jack Harlow Team Up To Break Out Of Montero State Prison In New Music Video For Single “Industry Baby”

Lil Nas X And Jack Harlow Team Up To Break Out Of Montero State Prison In New Music Video For Single “Industry Baby”

Lil Nas X breaks out of prison and frees himself from confines of toxic masculinity and homophobia in his new music video featuring Jack Harlow

Lil Nas X breaks out of prison and frees himself from confines of toxic masculinity and homophobia in his new music video featuring Jack Harlow

Text: Cat Sposato

Lil Nas X is not a “one-hit wonder” and his latest single lets everyone know it. After months of teasing the song and an elaborate marketing campaign, he has finally dropped his newest single “Industry Baby” the third release from his forthcoming album “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” 

Courtesy of Lil Nas X and Christian Breslauer

The song, produced by Kanye West and Take a Daytrip, is a triumphant pop anthem that celebrates Lil Nas X’s success in the music industry despite his numerous detractors. In this response to the criticisms he’s received throughout his career for his genre-bending music, controversial music video subject matter, and unapologetic celebration of his queer identity, Lil Nas X proudly lets his haters know that none of their reproach will stop his success. The pre-chorus victoriously boasts that “This one is for the champions/I ain’t lost since I’ve began/Yeah funny how you said it was the end/Yeah then I went did it again”

Courtesy of Lil Nas X and Christian Breslauer

In the prelude to the music video, Lil Nas X put himself on trial for his Nike Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” sneaker collaboration with MSCHF and ends up sentenced to five years in prison for admitting to the court that he’s gay. In the “Industry Baby” music video, we meet him after three months in the fictional Montero State Prison, plotting his escape with Jack Harlow. In the video, Lil Nas X sports a bright pink prison uniform, polishes his multiple accolades, participates in a fully nude dance break in the shower with his cellmates, and busts out of prison a la Shawshank Redemption. 

Courtesy of Lil Nas X and Christian Breslauer

The video takes place within the prison, for the most part, where Lil Nas X transforms the stereotypically-masculine setting into one that is uniquely his own – replete with hot pink walls, crop-top uniforms, twerking inmates, and posters of his iconic kiss during his 2021 BET Awards performance. He trolls all of his critics by ramping up his transgression of cultural norms with each new project, and he does so in a way that’s relentlessly joyful and brimming with confidence.

He also uses the controversy surrounding the subject matter he’s chosen to shed light on an issue he cares about – mass incarceration. Lil Nas X has partnered with The Bail Project to raise funds to combat the problem of cash bail: “Music is the way I fight for liberation. But true freedom requires change in how the criminal justice system works, starting with cash bail,” writes Lil Nas X, on the fundraiser’s description. “I know the pain that incarceration brings to a family, and I know the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on Black Americans. There are so many stories that call on us to take action, and I invite you to join me in this important civil [rights] issue.”

Courtesy of Lil Nas X and Christian Breslauer

The video comes off the heels of the controversy surrounding his newest album’s second single "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)." Lil Nas X’s use of imagery depicting queerness, hell, and the devil in MONTERO made him the target of backlash from homophobes and religious conservatives across the internet. But, if the “Industry Baby” release has taught us anything, it’s that Lil Nas X won't run from any of the criticism he receives for his willingness to transgress against what’s deemed socially acceptable. Instead, all of that backlash will get him to the top.

Check out the iconic music video by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow below:

To read more on Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow by VMAN, see our Tour Diary with Lil Nas X for VMAN 42 and our exclusive interview with Jack Harlow.

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