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Lil Nas X Is Using His "Industry Baby" Music Video To Raise Money For A Bail Relief Fund

A spokesperson for the Bail Project told BuzzFeed News the artist reached out to the organization to do this because he's "personally felt the effects of incarceration in his own family."

Posted on July 23, 2021, at 12:18 p.m. ET


Lil Nas X's latest music video for the song "Industry Baby" is listed as a fundraiser for the Bail Project, a nonprofit that combats mass incarceration and racial disparities in the justice system by funding bail for those in need.

Joseph Pate, the press manager for the organization, told BuzzFeed News the 22-year-old artist reached out to them to collaborate. "Lil Nas X has personally felt the effects of incarceration in his own family, and 1 in 2 Americans have had an incarcerated family member," said Pate.

All proceeds from this partnership will be used to pay people's bails, he added.

Set in a fake prison, Lil Nas X's new music video explores tropes about the American penitentiary system with subversive imagery. Underneath the YouTube premiere is a link to "donate to the Bail X Fund to help with cash bail around the country," the description reads.

The "Bail X Fund," the artist's joint effort with the nonprofit, hopes to provide relief for those in need of bail as well as end cash bail to create a more equitable criminal justice system.

"Music is the way I fight for liberation. It's my act of resistance," Lil Nas X writes on the project's website. "This isn't just theoretical for me. It's personal. I know the pain that incarceration brings to a family. And I know the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on Black Americans."

The Bail Project says it has provided over $47 million in free bail assistance for over 17,000 Americans with low incomes, and that 100% of donations are used for these initiatives.

"Cash bail has been the leading driver of mass incarceration for the past 20 years and traps low-income people, and disproportionately communities of color, in cycles of poverty and crisis," Pate said. "At the Bail Project, we aim to disrupt these cycles by preventing the harms of pretrial detention and supporting our clients in coming back to court."

"Industry Baby" is currently the No. 1 trending video on YouTube with over 4.6 million views since debuting on Friday.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.