In the track Harlow raps that his longtime friend and collaborator Lil Nas X “would f*ck me if I let him.” Lil Nas X is openly gay, and wrote much of his debut album “MONTERO” about growing up as a gay Black man in the south. Harlow was notably featured on the viral “INDUSTRY BABY”. Several high profile rappers in recent decades continue to write homophobia into their lyrics, most recently DaBaby as of 2022.
“I bet Lil Nas X would f*ck me if I let him” – Jack Harlow on Kanye West’s unreleased track “Louie Bags.”
— Rap Alert (@rapalert6) October 1, 2023
Prior to the leak, Harlow was a longtime friend and advocate to the Black and LGBTQ+ community amid his newfound friendship with Lil Nas X. The rapper even wore a shirt bearing Lil Nas X’s likeness to the BET Awards, for which the latter was not nominated. This show of allyship is part of why fans and onlookers alike are so shocked by the newly leaked lyrics.
Harlow is now being called out for what some feel is homophobia. The assumption that LGBTQ+ people are always after straight people and even willing to sexually assault them is often a far-right ideology, and some fear that the new lyric will hit the wrong audience–adolescent boys.
Whyyy would he say that!?!!!!
— like grah (@ShinyRyuji) October 1, 2023
Social Media Rap Reactions
Many were quick to criticize not only Harlow’s lyrics, but his choice to collaborate with Ye as well. Ye fell into a number of controversies beginning in 2022, when he first began espousing anti-semitic views, support for the late Adolf Hitler (who committed the Holocaust), and support for a number of white supremacist ideologies.
Additionally, the rapper once stormed the stage and interrupted a young Taylor Swift‘s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV VMAs. Ye’s now ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, has long expressed concern for his harmful behavior. Prior to Ye’s recent controversies, he was once regarded as a force to be reckoned with in rap music and in fashion.
Others found it disrespectful to Lil Nas X, whose collaboration with Harlow brought him towards a mainstream audience.
Lil Nas gave him his brief "career" he should be thankful
— victor jonas (@vyktorjonas) October 2, 2023
am i wild or is this kinda homophobic
— josh (@jdav8457) October 2, 2023
Elsewhere, some assumed that it was intended to be a tongue in cheek joke between close friends. Jack, who identifies as straight, has long taken jokes about him and Lil Nas X dating in stride.
He definitely got real comfortable with Lil Nas and they’re jokes about being lovers lol. Wouldn’t be surprised if one night he said fuck it and let it happen lmao
— ???? (@price0fwoke) October 1, 2023
Others suspected that the unreleased Ye track might actually be an AI rendering.
Nawwww this gotta be one of those AI jawns.
— ANP8 (@ARnp824) October 1, 2023
Neither Harlow nor Lil Nas X have commented on the leaks at this time. Ye remains largely offline, but was recently spotted in Italy alongside his wife Bianca Censori.