“And this one is for the champions. I ain’t lost since I began, yeah.
Funny how you said it was the end, yeah. Then I went did it again, yeah.
I told you long ago, on the road, I got what they waiting for…”
If you’re wondering what road Lil Nas X may have been referring to in “Industry Baby,” allow me to direct you to the smash single that put him on the map in the first place.
Vibe reports that his ever-popular “trap-country,” hit “Old Town Road” has just made history, becoming officially certified 15x-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) with 15 million certified units. As it stands, the song is now the “highest-ranked certification in RIAA history, beating itself for the previous record when ‘Old Town Road’ hit 14x-platinum in January.” The song, officially re-released in March 2019, spent 19 weeks in the top spot of Billboard’s Hot 100, beating out the previous record-holding song “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, which had been No. 1 for 16 weeks.
That’s one small step for man and one giant step for the “gay agenda!”
Just kidding. The “gay agenda” isn’t real but what is real is the impact Lil Nas X has undoubtedly had on Black and brown queer folks who feel seen and affirmed by his success, visibility, and defiance in the industry—and that’s worth way more than any certification he could ever receive.
In a recent interview with Variety, the “Panini” rapper talked about his newfound confidence and what the pandemic helped him unlearn about his identity:
“Honestly, I believe the pandemic helped me get out of the idea of trying to please everybody, and the idea of ‘He’s a cool gay person; he’s an acceptable gay person. I used to see things like that as a compliment, but it’s not. It just means you’re a people pleaser, and they never become legends. I wanted to be even more authentic in my music and let people into my life. I’m much more confident now—in my music, myself, my sexuality, the things that I believe that I stand for.”