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Lil Nas X sends message to critics, does steamy shower dance in 'Industry Baby' video

·3 min read

Lil Nas X is raising the music video bar while – well, behind bars – in his latest single.

The rapper released the video for "Industry Baby" Friday and it's full of creative visuals: Lil Nas X is locked up in the slammer after the judge, played by himself, finds him guilty for being gay.

Lil Nas X opens the song, produced by songwriting duo Take a Daytrip and Kanye West, with not-so-humble brags about his Grammys and platinum plaques. In the chorus he lays out how he is proving his naysayers wrong with every song he releases: "I ain't lost since I've began, yeah / Funny how you said it was the end, yeah / Then I went did it again, yeah."

More: Lil Nas X among 2,300 invited to join the Recording Academy's diverse new class of voters

The video accompanying the single features Lil Nas X in a bleak jail cell, only decorated by his two shiny golden gramophones he won for "Old Town Road" in 2019 and his framed platinum plaque for his single "Montero."

Before we are introduced to his inmate accomplice Jack Harlow, who is featured in the song, we get a dance break with the 22-year-old rapper and his other inmates, all fully nude (but censored), in the jail's shower room, delivering full 8-counts and floor dances with booty pops.

The rest of the video ensues with a plot planned and executed by Harlow and the "Montero" partnering up to break out of the institution so they can continue to take over the music world as industry newbies … or babies, rather.

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The rapper's fictional prison sentence and the video's backstory was prefaced in a two-minute teaser released Monday.

Lil Nas X wore multiple disguises in the teaser to play roles of the judge, defendant, prosecutor and juror as the "Old Town Road" rapper went on trial, a reference to the real legal battle he faced with Nike after releasing a custom Satan shoe.

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'Montero' controversy: Lil Nas X's Satan imagery angers parents. But advocates say critics are missing the point.

Shoe recall: Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes voluntarily recalled as part of Nike lawsuit settlement

"This is about much more than shoes. Mr. Nas X, are you gay?" the self-portrayed prosecutor asks in the promo video.

"What does this have to do with the shoes?" Lil Nas X responds.

The prosecutor then rephrases the question: "Do your momma know you're gay?"

The courtroom pressed the 22-year-old rapper to answer and the rapper finally says "yes." The judge sentences Lil Nas X to five years in "Montero State Prison."

Lil Nas X has been vocal about his sexuality, even more so after releasing his controversial "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" song in March. The video for "Montero" included sexually explicit biblical and Satanic imagery, which received some backlash, particularly from parents and religious people.

But others praised its celebration of queerness and Lil Nax X for embracing his gay identity.

He responded to critics on social media at the time: "I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the (expletive) y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay," he wrote on Twitter. "So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves."

"Industry Baby" is the second single from Lil Nas X's highly anticipated album "Montero." The project's release date has not been announced yet.

More: Lil Nas X song, video speak to larger issue of acceptance in religion, church

New music: Fans praise Lil Nas X's 'Montero' music video for being unapologetically queer

Contributing: David Oliver

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lil Nas X 'Industry Baby' shuts down critics, celebrates his sexuality

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