Lil Nas X Releases Highly-Anticipated "Panini" Music Video Directed by Mike Diva at Lord Danger

Last week, Lil Nas X released his highly anticipated music video for “Panini,” a slapstick cyberpunk odyssey directed by Mike Diva and produced by creative production studio Lord Danger.

Set in the future, the music video opens with a disillusioned fan, Panini (played by Disney Channel star Skai Jackson), gazing into a holographic city-scape brimming with Lil Nas X advertisements. Nas holograms render and glitch on buildings, coming to life in an encounter with Panini on the streets of Los Angeles. Nas pursues Panini as she treks through the cyber-city, showing up in holographic advertisements, hacking her devices, and even dropping in on her levitating Uber.

Nas wrote the concept for the music video himself, with a clear vision for the story he wanted to tell. In building the visual approach with Mike Diva and Lord Danger, Nas wanted to highlight the nature of the relationship this song represents - not a romantic relationship, or even a friendship - but the dynamic between celebrity and fan.

In a comment on Genius.com, Nas explained that the title for the song was inspired by a dynamic between two characters, Chowder and Panini, on the Cartoon Network show, Chowder.

“Panini was possessive over Chowder in the show,” said Nas. “She's a representation of fans who love you when you're small. Once you get the spotlight they aren’t feeling you as much.”

Mike Diva and Lil Nas X on set.  Photo by Sela Sheloni

Mike Diva and Lil Nas X on set. Photo by Sela Sheloni

Lil Nas X and Mike Diva.  Photo by Sela Sheloni

Lil Nas X and Mike Diva. Photo by Sela Sheloni

Just like Nas’ social media accounts, despite the realness of the song lyrics, the film leans slapstick and light-hearted. To emphasize the over-the-top futuristic environments and characters, Lord Danger utilized extensive visual effects — no small endeavor for a small studio with 10 weeks to shoot, post-produce, and deliver.

Lord Danger collaborated with Chimney for post-production, a highlight being the robot backup dancers, who appear dancing with Nas in a hyper-futuristic version of Santee Alley, one of the most popular shopping areas in the LA Fashion District, where the scene was filmed.

Diva was first approached by Nas’ team in 2019 after the release of “Nightmares,” his music video for Yung Pinch and Lil Skies. Once things got moving on “Panini,” the collaboration was no secret. Nas shared teasers and behind the scenes photos from set on his Instagram and Twitter starting on the first shoot date in mid-July.

Fans then got another taste of the creative collaboration at his 2019 VMA Performance, which featured a video introduction also directed by Mike Diva and produced by Lord Danger.

The studio collaborated with Chimney for post-production, a highlight being the robot backup dancers, who appear dancing with Nas in a hyper-futuristic version of Santee Alley, the Los Angeles fashion district where the scene was filmed.

Diva was first approached by Nas’ team in 2019 after the release of “Nightmares,” his music video for Yung Pinch and Lil Skies. Once things got moving on Panini, the collaboration was no secret. Nas shared teasers and behind the scenes photos from set on his Instagram and Twitter starting on the first shoot date in mid-July.

Lil Nas X.  Photo by Sela Sheloni

Lil Nas X. Photo by Sela Sheloni

Skai Jackson.  Photo by Sela Sheloni

Skai Jackson. Photo by Sela Sheloni

Fans then got another taste of the creative collaboration at his 2019 VMA Performance, which featured a video introduction also directed by Mike Diva and produced by Lord Danger.

The studio collaborated with Chimney for post-production, a highlight being the robot backup dancers, who appear dancing with Nas in a hyper-futuristic version of Santee Alley, the Los Angeles fashion district where the scene was filmed.

Diva was first approached by Nas’ team in 2019 after the release of “Nightmares,” his music video for Yung Pinch and Lil Skies. Once things got moving on Panini, the collaboration was no secret. Nas shared teasers and behind the scenes photos from set on his Instagram and Twitter starting on the first shoot date in mid-July.

Fans then got another taste of the creative collaboration at his 2019 VMA Performance, which featured a video introduction also directed by Mike Diva and produced by Lord Danger.

Photo by Sela Sheloni

Photo by Sela Sheloni

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