As Jack Harlow put it on the MTV VMAs 2021 red carpet, “[Lil Nas X] is a moment-maker, I’m just happy to be with him.” And that’s certainly an apt way to describe Lil Nas X, who performed his recent hit “Industry Baby” with Jack during Sunday’s ceremony.
Lil Nas X took the stage after a perfect introduction from Billy Porter, beginning his performance with a full marching band and LNX as drum major with a “Montero” shirt — that he didn’t wear for long. He then moved into a prison set a la the “industry Baby” music video, with a dance crew clad in all pink. But that wasn’t all he had in store, performing a bit of the smash hit “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” in bedazzled pink boxer briefs.
Lil Nas X and Jack released the “Industry Baby” music video back in July, thrilling fans with the Shawshank Redemption-inspired visual and that excellent dance break. The video also doubled as a fundraiser for the non-profit The Bail Project. “Music is the way I fight for liberation. But true freedom requires change in how the criminal justice system works, starting with cash bail,” Lil Nas X wrote on the fundraiser description at the time. “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.”
Check out the reactions to Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow performing “Industry Baby” at the VMAs:
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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Lil Nas X Drops “Industry Baby” Music Video, Fundraises for The Bail Project