How Did Jack Harlow Get Famous?

Jack Harlow is becoming one of the biggest artists, and we're revisiting his come up.

BYGabriela Valentin
2022 Forecastle Festival

At only 12 years old, Jack Harlow showed an interest in music, thanks to his mother, who exposed him to hip-hop. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, he made music with his friend Sharath using a Hero microphone and a laptop. They reportedly made their first CD, Rippin and Rappin, as kids, which they sold in middle school. From early on, a music career was something Harlow wanted to do.

Harlow gained attention with his mixtapes, including Finally Handsome in 2014 and 18 in 2016. By 2017, Harlow signed a deal with the record label Generation Now, founded by DJ Drama, Don Cannon, and Leighton "Lake" Morrison. Generation Now is in partnership with Atlantic Records, which has also helped boost Lil Uzi Vert's career. Harlow's earlier releases gained popularity and helped him expand his following on his social media platforms. He was also praised for his lyrical ability and unique style.

Gaining Attention

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 12: Jack Harlow performs crowd-favorite songs. At the "American Express Presents: Louisville by Jack Harlow" Member Week Celebration at Brooklyn Steel. On October 12, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for American Express)

Harlow's 2018 mixtape, Loose, helped him further solidify his fan base. It paved the way for this major-label debut album, That's What They All Say, released in 2020. The album featured hit singles such as “What’s Poppin” and “Tyler Herro.” This also propelled him into the mainstream and cemented his place in the rap game. Although his career is relatively new, Harlow has managed to have a stacked discography. His studio albums include That's What They All Say (2020) and Come Home The Kids Miss You (2022). Also, he has six mixtapes: Extra Credit (2012), Finally Handsome (2014), 18 (2016), Gazebo (2017), Loose (2018), and Confetti (2019). Moreover, he released two EPs, The Handsome Harlow (2015) and Sweet Action (2020).

Industry Baby Success

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X attend the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Harlow’s musical growth with Lil Nas X can be traced back to their collaboration on the latter's album Montero. The song "Industry Baby" became a huge hit gaining 1.7 billion listens on Spotify. In the song, Harlow references his Louisville roots and rise to fame. Jack Harlow has continued to evolve as an artist through his collaborations with Lil Nas X. His growth has been praised by fans and critics alike, and he has established himself as one of the most exciting young artists in the rap game today.

Jack Harlow’s Way Out

His debut studio album, That’s What They All Say, became a commercial success—debuting at No. 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Harlow has also won several awards and nominations throughout his career. In 2020, he won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist. Later, he was nominated for the BET Hip Hop Award for Best New Hip Hop Artist. He’s also been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Performance for “What’s Poppin (Remix)” featuring Lil Wayne, DaBaby, and Tory Lanez.

In addition to his musical success, Harlow has also gained a significant following on social media, with over 6.6 million followers on Instagram alone. He has also been featured in numerous high-profile campaigns and collaborations with brands such as Adidas and McDonald’s.

Harlow’s Influence

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 26: (L-R) Brandy, Jack Harlow, and Lil Wayne attend the 2022 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Jack Harlow’s success is essential because he’s part of the new generation of rap artists breaking down barriers and redefining the genre. Harlow’s unique style, lyrical ability, and willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles have helped him stand out in a crowded industry and attract a diverse fan base. Furthermore, his success has also paved the way for other up-and-coming artists to reach their own success. His importance in the music industry is vital because he uses his platforms to raise awareness about social and political issues. He’s spoken out about racial injustice, police brutality, and the need for greater representation and diversity in the music industry, using his voice to advocate for change. Harlow is helping inspire a new generation of artists committed to using their art to impact the world positively.

Overall, Jack Harlow’s success can be attributed to his unique style, lyrical ability, and hard work. As well as his ability to connect with audiences through his music and social media presence.

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