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Lil Nas X fundraises for bail relief with new 'Industry Baby' music video
Rapper Lil Nas X on Friday dropped a prison-themed music video for his new song "Industry Baby," with the video also serving as a fundraiser to help pay bail for those in need.
The video, which explores the criminal justice system and tropes about incarceration, includes a fundraiser link on YouTube for The Bail Project, a nonprofit that describes itself as "a critical tool to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system."
As of Friday afternoon, the fundraiser was already raking in donations, surpassing $20,000 by 1 p.m.
"Music is the way I fight for liberation. It's my act of resistance," Lil Nas X said on The Bail Project's website. "This isn't just theoretical for me. It's personal. I know the pain that incarceration brings to a family. And I know the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on Black Americans."
According to the site, 100 percent of the donations raised through the video will go toward paying people's bail.
Lil Nas X quickly trended online after the video dropped, as both fans and critics of the artist flocked to social media to respond to it.
His music video earlier this year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," in which Lil Nas X is shown dancing on a devil character's lap, drew the ire of conservatives. Many who were critical of the former video also appeared to not be fans of "Industry Baby," which features a censored but nude dance scene in fake prison showers.
But the artist, known for his social media presence, has been quick to respond to praise and criticism alike.
The new single also included a "prelude" released earlier this week, which explained that the fake "Montero Prison" sentence in the "Industry Baby" video was handed down over Lil Nas X's sexual identity as a gay man, as well as a lawsuit over shoes.
The prelude appears to be a reference to the suit Lil Nas X faces over the "Satan Shoes" he released in tandem with the "Montero" video. The prelude starts with a caption that sets the scene as "Nike v Lil Nas X, Supreme Court, July 19, 2021."
Nike's lawsuit claims that the limited-edition shoes infringed on its trademark and logo. A judge halted their production in April and required all the shoes, which included human blood, to be returned.