Lil Nas X and his sexy cellmates dance naked in a prison shower in new 'Industry Baby' video
Earlier this week, Lil Nas X tweeted that the video for his new single "Industry Baby" was "NOT FOR YOUR KIDS." And boy, he wasn't kidding. If this is what life in the clinker is like… well, lock us up.
The record-breaking artist (and EW cover star) first teased the song, produced by Kanye West and Take a Daytrip and guest-starring rapper Jack Harlow, with a two-minute clip of a mock Supreme Court case that spoofed his recent Satan shoes fiasco with Nike and featured him in multiple roles: his attorney, the prosecutor, the judge, a tsk-tsking jury member, and Nas himself, taking the stand to deliver his defense. The trial culminated with him being sentenced to five years in Montero State Prison not for his clash with the sneaker giant, but for being gay.
Now, in the music video, which landed at midnight Friday, Nas returns to troll his doubters and homophobic haters even harder. He spanks and throws cash at his twerking cellmate, claims a pair of lovers for his internment, and — in the most jaw-dropping sequence — dances wet and buck-freaking-nekkid in the jailhouse shower with his fellow nude male prisoners.
"I told you long ago on the road/I got what they waitin' for," he sings, after polishing up his Grammys and smugly straightening his framed platinum record in his cell. "Ion' run from nothin', dawg/Get your soldiers/Just tell 'em I ain't layin' low."
Think the chart-topping "Old Town Road" singer would wind up a one-hit wonder? Think again. Nas claps back at anyone who's deemed him such, boasting, "Funny how you said it was the end/Then I went, did it again." He also goes on to spit a retort at homophobes: "I don't f--- b----es, I'm queer/But these n---- b----es like Madea."
On top of that, "Industry Baby" features a cameo from Teen Wolf and Arrow actor Colton Haynes, who plays a security guard lusting after Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" video on his phone. Sporting a hot pink uniform and white kicks splashed with a rainbow stripe, Nas swoops in, catches the hypocrite in the act, and slugs him. The saga concludes Shawshank Redemption-style, with Nas revealing a hole he's carved into the wall of his cell and busting out of captivity to begin his new life.
Sexy slammer shenanigans and prison breaks aside, some of the lyrics reflect a letter the artist penned to his younger, closeted self ahead of the song's release.
"I wrote a song for us," he began in a tweet he posted Wednesday. "I know sometimes you feel like it's all downhill from here. I know your sexuality has made you feel like an outcast amongst your peers. I know going from having the biggest song in the world to being trapped in your apartment is weighing heavy on you. And I know if you hear the phrase 'one hit wonder' one more time you might combust. But I need you to keep going."
He continued, "I need you to realize that you have the opportunity to be the person that you needed growing up. I need you to stop feeling sorry for yourself. And I need you to remember that the only person who has to believe in YOU is YOU."
Lil Nas X's previous video for "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" sparked the ire of religious conservatives and homophobes alike, depicting the performer pole-dancing straight to hell to give the devil a lap dance before killing him, taking his horns, and claiming the throne for himself. After the fallout, he was quick to respond to his dissenters on social media, often in playful and sharp-tongued ways.
"At first I was really afraid of alienating any of my straight fans," he previously told EW. "But then it was kind of like, if they feel offended, they were never really here for me. They were here for whatever version of myself they made up in their head."
"Montero," "Sun Goes Down," and now "Industry Baby" will be available on Lil Nas X's debut album, Montero, which he said in June would be "coming soon." If certain lyrics in "Industry Baby" are any indication — "Uh need to get this album done/Need a couple number ones/Need a plaque on every song/Need me like one with Nicki now" — we just might be getting a Nicki Minaj collab too.
Watch the video for "Industry Baby" above.