I got surprised twice this past week. Once when I saw the trailer for the remake of “White Men Can’t Jump” and another when I went on Instagram yesterday morning. The common denominator? Jack Harlow. First, I wanted to congratulate him on his first feature-length film, releasing on May 19. It is about a pair of basketball hustlers who team up to earn extra cash. I want to point out that his only other acting experience before the film was on Saturday Night Live (SNL) in Oct. 2022. If he plans to continue, this is a big step in his acting career.
The other surprise was Harlow announcing his new album, Jackman, which will be released on April 28. This announcement came out of nowhere, but I am excited to see what he has in store for us. Fans are wondering why it is called “Jackman.” Some people on his Instagram think he meant Hugh Jackman, the famous actor who played Wolverine. But enough fan theories; let’s get back on track. I wanted to recap some of his most famous songs before the album drops. Need a refresher on Jack Harlow’s discography? You’ve come to the right place.
If you’re wondering where to start with Jack, let’s go with “First Class” because of how mainstream it is. I would hear this song on the radio often and loved how catchy the chorus was. I don’t know why, but spelling out words is not uncommon and works in this case. I find it clever how he uses the letters in a sentence, for example, “I been a (G), throw up the (L).” Some may find the song too repetitive, but I think it works to his advantage. I also love how chill and relaxed his vocals sound on “Damn, I guess I am.” The song’s beat and melody are simple, letting the verses shine.
“Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X Feat. Jack Harlow
This may not count to some people, but I had to include it because it is so iconic. “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X features Harlow on the bridge and does not disappoint. It is no wonder this song got 1.7 billion streams on Spotify. Harlow fits the song’s vibe well, and his flow is fantastic. The line “I sent her back to her boyfriend with my handprint on her ass cheek” is so fun to scream at parties because of the accompanying slap sound that plays after it. The bass also adds another element, making it powerful even when there’s a break in the rapping.
“WHATS POPPIN” Feat. DaBaby, Tory Lanes & Lil Wayne
In terms of rapping, this is his most impressive song. Again, the instrumental is repetitive, which allows listeners to focus on the words instead of the background music. With 264 million views on YouTube, this music video did the best out of all the others by a long shot. Getting Dababy on the song was a great collaboration, as their voices mesh well. This song also garnered attention on Tik Tok and even became a meme. People started using, “What’s poppin, don’t mind me just watching,” and combined it with the “What did he say?” audio.
Named after the NBA shooting guard from Miami Heat, “Tyler Herro” is about Harlow’s success in his career. Both Harlow and Herro were underrated when entering their perspective fields but proved themselves during 2020. Harlow’s vocal inflictions help emphasize certain words and make his flow sound that much better. Those fan theories about Hugh Jackman might be correct if he named a song after a basketball player. The anticipation is killing me for the album drop, but I suppose we’ll find out tomorrow!
To end the list, we have “Nail Tech,” which features a trumpet sample. John Mayer’s contribution to the song improves it because of his experience in Music Production Center (MPC). Harlow usually uses piano/synth sounds, so this change of pace makes the song stand out. I like how light his sound is, it’s a nice contrast from other mainstream rappers whose approach is loud and angry. We can thank the diss track era of YouTube for that. However, the bass and trumpet sounds he chose aren’t overpowering, which fits Harlow’s style.
There are plenty of other great songs in Harlow’s discography that didn’t make this list, such as “I WANNA SEE SOME ASS” or “Already Best Friends” but these are the most famous ones I wanted to focus on. If you feel so inclined, give his back catalogue a listen before his new music drops. I can’t wait to spend my Friday listening to Harlow repeatedly; I’m sure others feel the same.