Lil Nas X continues to be a master promoter in the week leading up to the release of his debut album. In addition to dropping a contractions video paying off the maternity photoshoot he shared a week ago, he’s now playing on the court-themed trailer for his “Industry Baby” video by sharing billboards threatening to sue… himself. The billboards, which popped up in Hollywood, are clear spoofs of similar cheesy billboard ads for real law firms. However, Nas’ billboards inform viewers they may be entitled to financial compensation for such silly reasons as being gay, being single, missing “the real America,” and crucially, hating Lil Nas X.
I’ve called Lil Nas X a masterful troll in the past but it bears repeating: The kid knows exactly how to turn any and all complaints against him into comedy gold, then use that gold to buy the adoration and attention of even more fans — and more complaints, ensuring a never-ending supply of promo fodder. Knowing that his Blackness, gayness, youth, and flamboyance will be used against him, he’s kind of like Eminem’s B. Rabbit in the 8 Mile finale, stocked up with lighthearted, self-deprecating gags that turn the light of scrutiny on his detractors and ensure that the crowd is firmly on his side.
Industry Baby, meanwhile, drops at midnight tonight via Columbia Records. It features appearances from Doja Cat, Elton John, Jack Harlow, Megan Thee Stallion, and Miley Cyrus — but no Black male artists, unfortunately. While some viewed that as intentional on Nas’ part, Kid Cudi called it part of hip-hop’s “homophobic cloud” — one that Nas’s new album hopes to help erase.