In a new interview with Teen Vogue, Jack Harlow said that his decision to collaborate with Lil Nas X on ‘Industry Baby’ wasn’t about optics.
In case you forgot, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s ‘Industry Baby’ was the near-inescapable song of 2021. At the time of writing, the song sits at 351 million views on YouTube. For Harlow, however, it was more than a chart-topping collaboration: it also made him a household name.
Jack Harlow, however, doesn’t look at his part in the track as something calculative. In a new interview with Teen Vogue, Harlow said that his decision to collaborate with Lil Nas X wasn’t optically-motivated, despite being highly politicised.
“It was a decision I made from my soul. I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, optically, this will look good’,” he told the magazine. “But I do think Lil Nas stands for something really important. I’m gonna be really proud as that ages.”
Harlow also reflected on the criticism he received following recent events which could not be ignored considering his status as a white man making hip-hop.
In May, Harlow was photographed at the Kentucky Derby being carried over mud by a group of two black men – reportedly his security guards. Although the men appeared to be smiling in videos of the incident, people did not take kindly to the optics of a white man being carried by black men. In the same month, he accrued backlash for not knowing that Ray J and Brandy are siblings.
In the interview, Harlow addressed both incidents and admitted that they weren’t the best decisions to make.
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“The era we live in has forced you, as a public figure, to be hyperaware of the decisions you’re making. Not everything can be, ‘What a charming guy who knows exactly what to say.’ It’s not human. Sometimes you put your foot in your mouth.” he said.
“Everything you say is really liable to affect your career in a crazy way. That’s just the nature of where we’re at. But it’s also dependent on your integrity, which is something I feel I have a lot of.” he added.
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