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Shifter Selects: Out in the Open

Graphic by Spencer Hall. Photos from left to right: American Horror Stories/FX, Lil Nas X/Instagram, Ralph Lauren/Instagram

Welcome to Shifter Selects, an addition to our digital component where we’ll highlight the latest trends in music, film/TV and fashion. Here’s how it’ll go down: on Monday of every week, we’ll be on the lookout for trending topics and give our hot takes on the matter. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Look no further than our Shifter Selects for the week of July 26 – 30.

Ryan Murphy brings us "American Horror Story" as we've never seen it, Lil Nas X proves (once again) that he's not a one-hit wonder and the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics not only introduced us to global athletes but stunning fashion.


Lil Nas X Causes (Another) Uproar With "Industry Baby"

by Brianna Fairman

Where to listen: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, etc.

For two-time Grammy award-winning rapper Lil Nas X, 2021 has been a year of chart-toppers, Satanic lawsuits, and, now, steamy shower dance numbers.

“Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X featuring Jack Harlow was released Friday, July 23. The song quickly rose to the top of the charts, earning a #2 spot on Spotify and Apple Music and #1 on Youtube.

The catchy, horn-heavy victory track was co-produced by Kanye West and Take A Daytrip. In it, Lil Nas X raps about being the underdog while wearing a hot pink prison jumpsuit.

Despite its success with fans and on the charts, the music video for “Industry Baby” prompted numerous attacks against Lil Nas X on social media.

Dr. Boyce Watniks tweeted “#LilNas isn’t fighting for gay rights. He is marketing the sexual irresponsibility that’s causing young men to die from AIDS,” – y’know, because every other rapper makes totally wholesome music videos about baking cookies with Grandma, apparently.

Lil Nas X responded by pointing out the hypocrisy of Watnik’s claim.

Shortly after the song’s release, Lil Nas X announced his partnership with The Bail Project.

“Music is the way I fight for liberation,” Nas wrote. “It’s my act of resistance.”


Hello Gory! Welcoming FX’s Newest Spin-Off — “American Horror Stories”

by Ysatis Rios-Sabat

Where to watch: Hulu

FX’s critically acclaimed series is back in a new way! Ryan Murphy’s award-winning anthology series, “American Horror Story,” introduced its new spin-off show, “American Horror Stories,” on Hulu earlier this month. The new show features all of the dark, gory details the original series gave us while spotlighting some of Hollywood's most beloved queer actors like Kevin McHale ("Glee"), Dyllón Burnside ("Pose") and newcomer Paris Jackson.

The spin-off takes us back in time to AHS’s first season, "Murder House," and spirals from there. Each episode will tell a different ghost story, making it easier for fans to follow along whenever.

Jackson, who made her acting debut in the horror franchise, sat down with USA Today to discuss her ruthless character outing Maya — played by Sierra McCormick — saying, “Just the idea of something like that happening makes my blood boil," Jackson said. "I remember … being conflicted about my sexuality and confused at 15, 16 years old. I remember having questions and not really knowing how to present myself or how to go about that."

Murphy alluded to the addition of more cast members on July 7 via an Instagram post, saying, “This isn’t even the half of it.”

A new episode will drop every Thursday on Hulu. We can’t wait for more!


Olympics Opening Ceremony Meets Fashion Statement

by Emma Lingo

Where to follow: Peacock TV

Just because the stands are empty doesn’t mean The Olympics aren’t worth watching. And every country brought their fashionista A-game.


Opening the ceremony in a stunning, custom TOMO KOIZUMI dress Japanese singer MISIA wowed. The rainbow skirt with puff sleeves and elegant cap captured the attention of viewers at home and kicked off the games with flair.


A fan-favorite, Pita Taufatofua, waved the Tonga flag shirtless and oiled up. His bottoms paid respect to his country’s culture and his chiseled physique caught eyes across the globe. The taekwondo competitor stole the show at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics and then again at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.


Italy didn’t disappoint this year. The athletes decked out in drippy Armani tracksuits strutted through the opening ceremony with heads held high and environmentally friendly fashion on the brain. To read up on why Italy and Japan collaborated on this sleek look, click here.

The United States

The good ol’ USA came dressed in deep blue suit jackets and classic navy jeans. Red and white shoes accented the outfits and handkerchiefs with the American flag completed the look. Ralph Lauren proudly displayed his design this year and has for the past seven Olympic ceremonies.

Want to keep up with the latest trends?

Tune in on Monday for our next installment of Shifter Selects!

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