On July 28, 2021, Snopes was alerted to a TikTok video posted by rapper Lil Nas X in which he claimed to have released an “uncensored” version of a music video for “Industry Baby,” his single with collaborator Jack Harlow that was released less than one week earlier.
The artists had uploaded the initial video to YouTube as part of the song’s debut on July 23. It showed Lil Nas X playing a variety of roles within America’s criminal justice system (judge, defendant, prison inmate, etc.) and, at one point, depicted him and a crowd of male dancers seemingly performing nude. The areas of their genitals were blurred, as if to give the impression that the footage was the PG-version of something more provocative.
[See also from Snopes: Did Nike Partner with Lil Was X on ‘Satan Shoes’ Containing Human Blood?]
In its review of the music video, NBC News described it as “intentionally playful and comically sexually themed,” adding: “He’s fondling his dancers throughout the clip — including a hilarious nude dance scene in the shower with everyone’s privates pixilated — and even guest rapper Jack Harlow gets in on the action, although with a female dancer.”
So, when the 22-year-old uploaded a selfie-style TikTok video on July 28 indicating that he had released an explicit, unredacted version of video, his fans flocked to YouTube to find it. The TikTok video showed him using a hair sponge in the bathroom as the song played, including the text, “SUPRISE!” (sic).
“I went to YouTube so fast,” one commenter wrote.
But they didn’t find what they were looking for.
While it was true Lil Was X’ uploaded a second version of the music video — this time with the title, “Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow – INDUSTRY BABY (Uncensored Video) — the clip repeated the initial video’s opening scenes and then changed when Lil Nas X and the dancers seemingly danced naked. At that point, the song kept playing and a “loading” or “rebuffering” symbol spun on top of a still image of a shower head — as if to give viewers the impression that they encountered a technical issue.
“I thought my phone was broken,” someone commented under Nas’ TikTok video.
In other words, while it was true Lil Nas X claimed to have shared an uncensored version of his music video for the track “Industry Baby,” the announcement was nothing but a troll — nowhere on the internet can you find an official, non-pixelated video by the rapper showing him and dancers performing to the song naked. For that reason, we rate this claim “False.”
“Industry Baby,” which was co-produced by Kanye West, was Nas’ third single of the year, at the time of this writing. He was preparing to release his debut full-length album titled “Montero” on Columbia Records, NBC News reported.