Many dismissed Lil Nas X as a one-hit wonder after his 2018 rap/country smash "<a href="https://www.songfacts.com/facts/lil-nas-x/old-town-road">Old Town Road</a>." Ignoring the skeptics, he continued to sell big while cultivating an image as a hedonistic and flamboyant queer rapper. "Industry Baby" finds Lil Nas flexing his success to all the naysayers and critics who doubted him.
<i>And this one is for the champions I ain't lost since I've began, yeah Funny how you said it was the end, yeah Then I went did it again, yeah</i> Lil Nas X told Apple Music the rap anthem captures his honest feelings of his place within the music industry and his personal growth. "I'm not rapping about somebody else's life, like, I'm not singing about somebody else's situation," he said. "This is me, and it feels so much better knowing that."
Ahead of the song's release, Lil Nas X shared a heartfelt letter addressed to his 20-year-old self, noting that he wrote the track "for us" and he needs to persevere. He writes of being ostracized in the country and rap communities because of his sexuality, the COVID quarantine "weighing heavy," and the fear that his career will stagnate after his initial success. Lil Nas concludes: "I need you to remember that the only person who has to believe in YOU is YOU."
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