Jack Harlow, a Mic Drop Music favorite (Kentucky Born and Bred for Stardom), has majestically floated his way back into our realm with the latest release of his 10-track solo album, Jackman. Jackman shares a deeper look inside the Kentucky native’s journey in the music industry and his evolution as a person. Although Jack is known for his flirty persona and suave delivery, his lyrics show there is much more than meets the eye.
There are zero features on this album — listeners get blessed with Jack, Jack, and more Jack. His ability to allow his emotions and unique style is what attracted me to Jack Harlow as an artist initially. Today I’ll be highlighting the track “Ambitious” off the new album and providing a deeper lyrical analysis.
And it’s Not Just his lyrics that stand out..
Jackman was full of several notable changes in overall production style and tempo as well. His past few projects have featured songs that became go-to party tracks with high-energy vibes. I have noticed that in his career, the high energy tracks are the ones that become more viral and mainstream. When you dive deeper into his discography, the shift in energy is evident.
Not to say I don’t appreciate his work that has popped off and become more mainstream, but I think his more thoughtful and intellectual pieces deserve attention and recognition (queue Gazebo IMO). This album is a more thoughtful piece, with multiple stories to share. The topics Jack touches on in here aren’t light, but if you listen intently, you can hear his truth.
We will dissect “Ambitious” as it adequately describes the transition for Jack in a nutshell.
Let’s break it down verse by verse.
At fourteen years old, Jack is thinking about his life path and realizing that college isn’t an option for him. What he does know is that he has a solid group of friends he can trust and that support the vision. From the recording sessions in his room with the AC in the background, to the humble local shows, they’ve always been there (see highlighted text above in Verse 3: “Ambitious” by Jack Harlow).
At nineteen years old, Jack signs his first deal. One foot into the industry, he begins to look at his competition around him and questions his place in the community (see highlighted text above in Verse 2: “Ambitious” by Jack Harlow) . Jack is experiencing some imposter syndrome at this phase. He’s playing shows at 1 PM and feels like he’s received some recognition, but still seeking validation from his community.
At 24 years old, Jack is experiencing the consequences of his blow up. He’s traveling overseas, playing shows, exploring his acting career (White Men Can’t Jump), and is actively noticing the differences in his social and daily life (see highlighted text above in Verse 3: “Ambitious” by Jack Harlow).
Give credit where credit is due
As one who appreciates art in all forms, particularly of the musical medium, this project is one to appreciate over and over again. We can all enjoy mumble rap and mainstream hyper pop from time to time, but being gifted a lyrical masterpiece that showcases so many different parts of a person (so deeply to this extent) is art that deserves to be loved slowly and tenderly.
Not only is “Ambitious” on repeat, but I’ve included a few other honorable mentions sprinkled within this article.
I invite you to share intentional space with these tracks and explore the messages you receive with others.