Jack Harlow has been blowing up the music space for the last year. The 23-year-old rapper got major buzz in 2020 for song “Whats Poppin’,” which hit number two on the Billboard Music Charts. He’s officially set to make his first-ever appearance on Saturday Night Live March 27, alongside host and former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph, 48.
THIS WEEK ‼️‼️‼️ https://t.co/gJtUsSV87M
— Jack Harlow (@jackharlow) March 22, 2021
Posting the announcement to his Instagram, Jack wrote, “Saturday Night Live. March 27th…. YESSSSSS!” He added, “I watched SNL with my family every weekend as a youngin. I vividly remember seeing Kanye [West] perform ‘Love Lockdown’ and ‘Heartless’ in 2008. Thank you for making this happen. Another dream come true.” Learn more about the rising star right here!
He’s from Kentucky
Jack Harlow was born on March 13, 1998 to parents Maggie and Brian Harlow, who are of French and Irish heritage. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky and later moved to Shelbyville, where he grew up on a horse farm. It was in his home state where he became a hip hop fan through his mom, who had Eminem‘s The Marshall Mathers on repeat. “She told me all the words I was about to hear but wasn’t allowed to say,” he said to GQ in Dec. 2020, also remembering going to the store to buy a album.
He started making music in high school
As a kid, Jack developed an interest in writing. “In first grade, I was writing personal narratives and persuasive letters…That’s when I knew I enjoyed words,” he also said to GQ. He released his first album in 2015 while still in high school, titled The Handsome Harlow. The album gained enough buzz, leading him to land an opening gig for Vince Staples. He followed up the project with a 2016 mix tape titled 18, adding performs from Bonnaroo and South by Southwest to his resume. In 2017, he dropped the single “Dark Knight” off of his mixtape Gazebo.
His biggest single to date has been 2020’s “What’s Poppin’,” feat. Dababy, Tory Lanez and Lil Wayne which was accompanied by a Lyrical Lemonade a.ka. Cole Bennett directed music video. The song ended up hitting number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and also got him a Grammy nomination in the Best Rap Performance category (the Grammy went to Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé for “Savage”). “It’s never felt like this before. The validation is flying in every day. Every day I’m waking up to good news. The song is changing my life man, I’m happy,” he said to Sniffers.
“Cole and I had been building a relationship for a year, waiting for the right record to get this done,” he explained of the video, which racked up over 100 million views. “And I remember on tour, Jetsonmade had DM’d me wanting to work. This is one of the first songs we made, and I shot it over to Cole right after. It’s crazy man, it all came together like a recipe. I always think that you have to put yourself in situations like these to happen because you can’t control everything. You just have to stand in the thunderstorm and hold a pole up.”
He has a song with Chris Brown
Fresh off of the success of “What’s Poppin'”, Jack dropped the tune “Best Friend” with Chris Brown. “Met last week,” Jack joked in a caption promoting the song and video. In the tune, the duo sing about their new found friendship alongside other buddies like Lil Baby, Big Sean, Bryson Tiller, and Static Major. They even end up in an X-rated situation involving a woman.
ALREADY BEST FRIENDS
— Jack Harlow (@jackharlow) March 11, 2021
“Two at a time, laying in my bed / One on top and the other give me head / Girl oh girl I love the taste,” Chris sings on the tune, as Jack joins in with lines about their close relationship. “She said ‘What’s that?’ and they smiled at each other and they both laughed / I don’t need a man, she my other half / We got something not a lot of others have / And I feel like I knew her from the past,” the Kentucky native rapped.
He lives in Atlanta
Jack moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2017 — which has been a whole new source of inspiration for his music. Since living there, he’s worked with legends like DJ Drama and Don Cannon, who signed him to their label. “I’m doing a much better job of representing who I am off record, on record,” he said of the move. “I don’t know if [credibility] is a requirement to have success, but it’s important to me,” he said to GQ. “When I was shopping around before I signed I wasn’t like, ‘I’m not signing until I find some Black gatekeepers.’ But I’m proud to be signed to them,” he added.
He started his own label
Jack has also launched his own record label, 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.”