Rapper Jack Harlow is back with his fourth album, “Jackman.” Harlow saw some successful collaborations in 2020 on his album “Thats What They All Say”, with tracks featuring Adam Levine, Lil Wayne, and Big Sean. The rapper further rose to mainstream music success for his duet with fellow rapper Lil Nas X on the track “Industry Baby.” The song rapidly became a social media sensation upon its 2021 release, for its dance-ability and memorable bars.
Following his mainstream breakthrough, Harlow released his 2022 album “Come Home The Kids Miss You.” The project received mixed reviews–while his loyal fan base loved it, Harlow was also the subject of criticism. Many felt that he “sold out” to cater to a pop music audience, despite his humble beginnings as a rap artist in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tried to go too ‘TikTok’ with the last album. This one is good
— Nic (@Nic0l3TXZ) April 28, 2023
On “Jackman.”, the rapper raps over more soulful tracks that reflect his southern roots. The lyrics throughout the album reflect Harlow’s experience with sudden fame, and how he got to where he is now. Just before the “Jackman” release, the rapper returned home to visit his Louisville high school, which is referenced on the album.
.@JackHarlow surprise visits a high school in his hometown of Louisville ahead of his album, #Jackman. pic.twitter.com/B7TLVIE5wa
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 27, 2023
The more authentic and personal rap album is drawing comparisons to several other successful rap albums. Some are spotting formulaic similarities between “Jackman.” and Jay-Z’s 13th album, “4:44.”
Streets saying Jack Harlow dropped his 4:44
— armon (@armonsadler) April 28, 2023
Harlow notably referred to himself as “the hardest white boy since Eminem” on his track “They Don’t Love It.” While some agreed that while his style of rap is starkly different from Eminem’s famously sped up style, their lyricism about their childhoods bears similarities. Others feel that the late Mac Miller bore more similarities to Eminem, and that while Harlow is talented, he could not compare.
Jack Harlow says he’s the best white rapper since Eminem on new album‼️👀
“The hardest white boy since the one who rapped about vomit and sweaters” pic.twitter.com/5TZyiqh6HW
— RapTV (@Rap) April 28, 2023
This clears Jack’s whole discography pic.twitter.com/q751XkjCpM
— earl🖤 (@HeartlessEarl) April 28, 2023
What’s Next For Jack Harlow
Harlow’s interaction with Black culture as a white rapper in a post 2020-Black Lives Matter world has remained at the forefront of his career. In the opening track of his album, Harlow addresses his privilege, and the privilege of several adolescent rap fans.
Damn Jack Harlow was spittin here did not expect him to open the album like this pic.twitter.com/aOatgAsxOi
— Joey (@gothamhiphop) April 28, 2023
Additionally, last week, it was announced that Harlow would star in a remake of the 1992 film “White Men Can’t Jump”, which explores similar subject matter. The rapper will star alongside Sinqua Walls. Fans of Harlow look forward to what they feel is a more authentic turn for his career.
The trailer for “White Men Can’t Jump,” starring Jack Harlow & Sinqua Walls, is out pic.twitter.com/4YlNaZ8SAU
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2023
“Jackman.” is on streaming services now. “White Men Can’t Jump” comes to theaters on May 19.
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