Jack Harlow Thinks Lil Nas X Is ‘Becoming an Icon,’ Calling the ‘Industry Baby’ Singer ‘Brave’

Lil Nas X is considered a pioneer in the country-rap music scene, even named “an icon” by his “Industry Baby” collaborator Jack Harlow. The “What’s Poppin” singer shared some insight into his work with Lil Nas X, as well as the reason the two worked together for the Montero hit.

Lil Nas X featured Jack Harlow on the 2021 release, ‘Industry Baby’

Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow attend Variety's Hitmakers Brunch
Artists Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow attend Variety’s Hitmakers Brunch | Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Variety

Lil Nas X is the chart-topping singer/rapper behind “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” “That’s What I Want,” and “Old Town Road.” In 2021, the musician released his debut album Montero featuring Jack Harlow on the track “Industry Baby.” 

Since its debut, this song has earned over 960 million plays on the music streaming platform Spotify. In 2021, Lil Nas X dropped an extended version of “Industry Baby,” reaching over 10 million Spotify plays. 

The original track even earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Melodic Rap Performance category, as well as a People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Collaboration Song. Thanks to a collaboration with Genius, fans learned some of the meaning behind this song and its lyrics. 

Jack Harlow thinks Lil Nas X is ‘becoming an icon’ 

Although they boast different music styles, Lil Nas X and Harlow’s lyrics work well together for “Industry Baby.” During an interview with Genius, these artists commented on their decision to collaborate. They had separate ways of breaking into the industry. Still, the respect Harlow and Lil Nas X have for each other fueled “Industry Baby.”

“We feel each other, you know what I mean,” Harlow said of Lil Nas X. “We do two different things. You know, we’re in this industry for two different reasons. We came in with different music, but I feel him, and I’m a fan of him. 

“And I’m a fan of what he’s doing and what he stands for,” Harlow added. “I think he’s becoming an icon. I just like what he does. I salute him. I think he’s brave.”

Harlow wouldn’t be the only artist featured on Montero, as “One of Me” included legendary Grammy Award-winning artist Elton John. Megan Thee Stallion rapped on “Dolla Sign Slime,” while Miley Cyrus sang on “Am I Dreaming.” (Lil Nas X previously featured Cyrus’ father, Billy Ray Cyrus, for his “Old Town Road” remix.)

Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow appeared in the ‘Industry Baby’ music video

Both Harlow and Lil Nas X appeared in the official “Industry Baby” music video, sparking controversy among conservative viewers for its LGBTQ-centered themes. Lil Nas X responded on Twitter, stating, “lemme explain. Lil Nas = gay so he wit boy. Jack Harlow = straight so he wit girl. Got it??”

Since being posted to YouTube, this production earned over 280 million views. The music video is also labeled as a fundraiser, with the caption including a donation link to the Bail Project’s “Bail X Fund.” Music by Lil Nas X is available on most major streaming platforms. 

RELATED: How Lil Nas X Highlights Black LGBTQ Cowboy Culture With the Success of ‘Old Town Road’