Lil Nas X just released the video for latest head-bopper song, “Industry Baby.”
Its got all the things you would expect in a Lil Nas X video: naked dancers, twerking and unapologetic gayness. I’m not mad at it. Check it out below.
Do you boo. Because shock value aside, Lil Nas X is using his platform to advocate for a topic even more controversial than cheeky communal shower scenes.
Cash bail reform. Cash bail is paying a certain amount of money to release a person locked up for a crime that hasn’t been convicted yet.
The “Industry Baby” video is also a fundraiser for The Bail Project, a non-profit that advocates to erase cash bail and pays bail for those in need.
Blavity reports, Lil Nas X helped raise $21K for Bail Project in just hours of the video dropping. Three days in and the “Old Town Road” rapper has raised $44K with his video.
Lil Nas X released a statement on why prison reform is so important to him:
“Music is the way I fight for liberation. But true freedom requires change in how the criminal justice system works, starting with cash bail. I know the pain incarceration brings to a family, and I know the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on Black Americans.”
Indeed. Does Kalief Browder ring a bell? No, okay well he’s the perfect example of how dysfunctional our prison system works.
Kalief was a 16-year-old Bronx teenager arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack and sent to Rikers for three years (two in solitary) without being convicted because his family couldn’t afford the $3K bail to get him out.
Kalief is just one heartbreaking story out of many within the BIPOC community that are plagued by cash bails. Blavity reports the following statistics:
According to CBS News, 74% of people held in jails have not been convicted of a crime and the average bail bond amount for a felony is $10,000, an amount many families, particularly in communities of color, just can’t afford to pay.
According to the Prison Policy Initiative more than 40% of people incarcerated without trial due to lack of cash bail are Black.
The Bail Project website calls cash bail, “one of the key drivers of mass incarceration and structural racism in the U.S. criminal legal system.”
Ain’t that the truth. All the more reason to praise Lil Nas X for making a provocative video even more thought-provoking.
Click here to donate to Bail Project.