Skai Jackson stars alongside Lil Nas X in the new video for “Panini,” the latter’s most recent single. Lil Nas X, who broke countless industry records with his genre-busting track “Old Town Road,” has used “Panini” to debut a new, futuristic aesthetic, moving beyond his typical cowboy look. The “Panini” video, directed by Mike Diva, is very Tron–a style that the rapper initially debuted at the 2019 VMAs (to which he wore a glamorous Prince-inspired suit designed by Christian Cowan). The video shows a Blade Runner-like world in which Jackson is trying to run away from the specter of Lil Nas X, who just won’t leave her alone. She runs down alleyways and even jumps out of an airplane (the concept is a little confusing, but Lil Nas X is just so very charming).
It’s fun to see two viral sensations in a video. Lil Nas X rose to fame primarily through his stunning internet literacy. And while Jackson is a successful Disney star, she’s also known as the queen of memes: you’ve surely seen the photo of her sitting in a chair with a prim expression on her face, an image that has become a go-to symbol of pettiness.
Lil Nas X tweeted his thanks to the actress, and she responded in kind. “No, big thank you to YOU!!,” she tweeted. “Thank you for having me be apart of this. LOVE YA!”
“Panini” uses a sample from Nirvana’s “In Bloom,” continuing the Lil Nas X tradition of mixing up tracks from ‘90s alternative rockers (“Old Town Road” famously uses the beat from Nine Inch Nails’s “34 Ghosts IV”).
“I put out the snippet [of ‘Panini’] and everyone was like, ‘Wow, he’s sampling Nirvana,’” the rapper said in a SiriusXM interview. “I was like, ‘Where? I’m not sampling Nirvana, this beat doesn’t have Nirvana in it.’ Then, I listened to ‘In Bloom’ in full, and I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’”
“I actually heard from Kurt’s daughter [Frances Bean Cobain],” he continued. “She’s the one who pretty much approved the song and she told me how much she loved the video for ‘Old Town Road’ and stuff.” The two now follow each other on Instagram.
Watch the “Panini” video, below.