Numerous accounts of petty backlash can’t keep Lil Nas X away from awards shows. In anticipation for this week’s release of his long-awaited debut album, Montero, the rapper graced the stage at the 2021 MTV VMAs with his pal Jack Harlow to perform their recent single, “Industry Baby.”
Lil Nas X stormed the stage in a hot pink drum major uniform with a full marching band behind him. However, it wasn’t long before his jacket and pants came off, allowing him to properly bust a move with Harlow and their crew of choreographed inmates at “Montero Prison.” Thankfully, the performance wasn’t a repeat of Lil Nas X’s Saturday Night Live debut back in May, where he powered through an untimely pants-ripping. He capped off his VMAs performance with a brief mash-up of “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”
Watch Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s onstage collaboration at the VMAs below, and see all of the evening’s performance here.
The music video for “Industry Baby” was originally met with some criticism upon its release due to its seemingly lighthearted depiction of jails and incarceration. However, Lil Nas X made good use of his virality: “i know the pain that incarceration brings to a family. and the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community,” he wrote on Twitter. “that’s why i teamed up with @bailproject to create the Bail X Fund. let’s bring people home!”
In more Lil Nas X news, the rapper was also recently announced as Taco Bell’s first chief impact officer, a new role that will see him assume a slew of creatively-focused business endeavors.