Two young, and, despite their age, very ambitious and popular today rap artists Montero Lamar Hill (better known by his pseudonym Lil Nas X) and Jack Harlow teamed up to create the single “Industry baby”. In the song, the guys told us about the difficulties of working in the music industry.
The project was released in July 2021 and is produced by Kanye West and the production duo Take a Daytrip. By this time, both artists had already established themselves in the world of the rap industry thanks to their singles. Lil Us X became widely known in 2018 after the successful country track “Old Town Road”, which he recorded in a studio for just $50 and self-promoted on TikTok. Jack Harlow became famous a couple of years later with a single about his fun days “What’s Poppin”. Both songs were high on the Billboard Hot chart, and Lil Nas’s single even won the chart and won two Grammy nominations for “Best Video” and “Best Pop Duo or Group Performance.”
“Industry baby” in translation from English means “Child of show business”.
The very name of the song already says a lot: Lil and Jack tell about the cruel world of show business, in which they constantly have to “spin”. The performers are co-authors: Lil Nas X’s verses are his autobiography, while Jack Harlow sings about his life. But they sing the chorus together: this suggests that the guys have similar problems. The single “Industry baby” is a kind of revelation song, and therefore here you will find many bold lines about the attitude of performers towards show business people, representatives of the rap community and just haters who write angry comments online about the work and personal life of musicians. The basis of the outrageous image of an Internet troll, a lover of cowboy hats, ambiguous outfits and scandals of Lil Nas X is his bright and bold clips. The rapper loves to “troll” and denounce society.
Moreover, everyone in his work gets it: homophobes, black rappers, his own fans and even himself. Having come out in the lines of the song “C7osure”, the rapper continues to self-irically expose his unconventional orientation in videos and songs. And the video for the song “Industrty baby” is no exception. The rapper gets a term for homosexuality and ends up in an unusual prison called Montero (a reference to the real name of the singer): here criminals in pink robes “twerk” in the dating room, erotically rub their body with a washcloth and dance naked in the shower. As a result, the heroes of Lil and Jack run away, and we see how the prison explodes in the background. Pretty bold, considering that “prison” is an allegory of show business…
The lines of the song allow you to learn a lot from the biography of Lil and Jack. “The kid is back, even with the money, with a couple of Grammys,” Lil Nas X sings about himself. He not only reminds the world of his achievements, but also declares far-reaching intentions: “It’s funny, you said that this was the end, but I took it and repeated the success.” In the chorus, the rapper recalls his main success: “A long time ago on the” road “I told you that I have what they are waiting for.” Obviously, by dear, the singer means his visiting card song “Old Town Road”. There are also mysterious lines in the chorus, the meaning of which can only be guessed at.
It is not known to whom the words “Bring your soldiers, tell them that I did not lay low …” are addressed. But it can be assumed that during his still short career, Lil Nas X met a lot of ill-wishers and those who built obstacles for him on the way to success. And, in spite of everything, he is here, at the top of the leading charts and surrounded by insane popularity. However, with the lines “You call me Nas, but the guys from the neighborhood call me Doobie,” the rapper wants to say that he is still the same simple guy from Georgia who has not “starred” and has not caved in to the old patterns of the rap industry. Also in the song, Lil mentions his homosexuality and love for the famous R’n’B singer Nicki Minaj.
From Harlow’s couplet, we can conclude that the musician’s road to success was not easy, and on the way he met and continues to meet ill-wishers and critics, who, however, with the growth of the musician’s popularity, are reborn into his fans: “My spiteful critics have become my customers , veterans feel like newbies, ”the rapper boldly declares. Thus, in the song, Jack once again emphasizes that he does not intend to stop there and wants to become the best in his genre. The rapper once admitted this in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine: “I want to be the face of my generation for the next ten years. My generation needs more people who strive to be the best, and that can’t be achieved with just sweet, vibe music. My new songs are much more serious.”
The rapper did not forget to brag a little about his sexual achievements, perhaps fearing that after the “stay” in the “pink” gay jail, fans and critics will take him for “the very one”: “And the girls know that I am vulgar: I sent her away to a guy with his handprint on her ass.” Also, Jack Harlow in his songs and interviews shows indifference to such topics as sexuality and work on himself and his image. The rapper went through the stage of self-acceptance, because once he was critical of his personality. And he sings about this in particular in “Industry baby”: “I’m a late flower, I didn’t bloom in high school, but I’m getting more and more beautiful.”
At the end, the rappers reveal the essence of the song with the words “I am a child of show business”, perhaps hinting to the listener: “What is show business, such are children.” Two young and popular musicians boldly and originally declared themselves in the song “Industry baby”. They once again told the world about who they are, what their intentions are and how they relate to show business. The seemingly frivolous song reveals many interesting facts from the life of musicians and how difficult it is sometimes to achieve success and stay “afloat” within the framework of the difficult time in which we live.