Lil Nas X is on fire this year. The 22-year-old rapper has released two hit singles, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and “Industry Baby”with Jack Harlow, which reached number one and two on Billboard‘s Hot 100, respectively. And his album Montero, out September 17, is one of the most-anticipated projects of the year.
To kick off his album-release week, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow took the stage at the MTV VMAs 2021 to perform “Industry Baby,” and of course they nailed it. They essentially recreated the iconic music video, and Lil Nas X even threw in some “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” at the end. With choreo!
“I think [Lil Nax X] is giving a voice to a lot of people and kids who could use one,” Harlow recently told Variety. “I think the community he represents could use someone who’s succeeding on a mainstream level—it doesn’t have to be a niche thing, it can feel like, Yo, you can be number one, you can be the greatest. I really recognize what he’s doing and I think he gets a lot deeper than the jokes and whatever gimmicky stuff people wanna associate—I really think he’s an icon. I really recognize what he’s doing, and I admire him—I admired him long before we met.”
And Lil Nax X himself told Variety, “Honestly, I believe the pandemic helped me get out of the idea of trying to please everybody, and the idea of ‘He’s a cool gay person; he’s an acceptable gay person,’” Nas says. “I used to see things like that as a compliment, but it’s not. It just means you’re a people pleaser, and they never become legends. I wanted to be even more authentic in my music and let people into my life. I’m much more confident now—in my music, myself, my sexuality, the things that I believe that I stand for.”