Jack Harlow, 24, brought all the energy to the BET Awards Sunday night. The 24-year-old rapper first took the stage with Lil’ Wayne to sing their hit, “Poison”, and it was great, but what really shook fans to their core was Jack’s second — surprise guest — the legendary Brandy. Jack and Brandy, 43, got into an awkward feud earlier this year after he didn’t know she was related to Ray J, and she later remixed his hit, “First Class”, so it was pretty awesome to see them sing that song together at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday evening. It was totally unexpected and a moment we’ll never forget.
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Jack has enjoyed a huge year for his career thanks to his hit, “First Class.” In fact, the song scored the Kentucky native his first No. 1 song on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. Prior to that, he enjoyed the success of his 2020 song, “What’s Poppin’,” feat. DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne. The single reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and also earned him a Grammy nomination for the Best Rap Performance. Even more impressively, the musician already owns a record label, called Private Garden. “It’s a collective from Louisville made up of a bunch of creatives and artists. Basically, we all went to different high schools, but we came together just out of the love of creativity and music,” he said to Flaunt magazine in 2019. “We’ve been working together for about three or four years now. Since before anything started buzzing. We went to South By together with no money, just trying to get discovered. So we just make music together, we make creative decisions together, we throw parties in the city, we throw shows.”
Although he’s certainly basking in his success, Jack’s explosive fame is a double-edged sword for him. “Once you become actually famous, it’s only half about the music,” he told Variety in Dec. 2021. “They’re just showing up to see you in the flesh, put you on their Snap, throw some panties at you, whether they know a single lyric or not.” He added that his star-power has left him “conflicted”. He continued, “When ‘What’s Poppin’ came out, it was so much about the music, but this year, I feel like I’ve put myself out there so much that my personality’s caught up with it. The fame is fun, but I have such a love for the craft. I want to get back to it, and I’m hungry to kill s—t.”
Jack’s first performance at the BET Awards comes on a night that’s set to honor rap and hip-hop legend, P. Diddy, who was announced as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award on June 13. “Diddy has always been a pioneering force in our community, breaking barriers, achieving unprecedented heights, blazing new trails, and, in so doing, raising the bar for all of us,” Scott Mills, CEO of BET, said in a statement for the announcement. “His virtuosity is matched only by his range – from music to media, culture, business, and philanthropy – Diddy has exemplified Black Excellence. We are delighted to have this opportunity to use our biggest stage to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of our friend Diddy.”
If Jack keeps it up, he too could walk away with such a prestigious award one day!