Jack Harlow hits close to home with new album release


Peyton Stack

Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Jack Harlow went from underground rapper to pop icon in a matter of two years. Harlow’s swagger and charm propelled him forward, setting him up for a massive release in the album “Come Home The Kids Miss You”. Besides unnecessary hate, Harlow’s newest project got mixed reviews from listeners. Harlow embarks on a shift toward a more pop central genre, leaving much of his large fan base torn.

Peyton Stack, Co-Copy Editor

Following a successful 2020 with the release of, “What’s Poppin”, rapper Jack Harlow released his debut studio album “That’s What They All Say” in late December and interjected himself into the middle of pop culture. Besides appearing on the immensely famous song “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X, which collected over 1.2 billion streams on Spotify to date, and releasing a single with Pooh Shiesty, Harlow remained relatively quiet during 2021. The Kentucky native conducted his own ‘Creme De La Creme’ tour, which went all around the world and frequently appeared at celebrity award shows and events. The hiatus ended when Harlow released the first single, “Nail Tech”, on February 18, officially kicking off the start of his sophomore studio album, “Come Home the Kids Miss You”, which hit all platforms on May 6. 

“‘Come Home The Kids Miss You’ is available everywhere now. We’ve been stuck in the studio for a year straight. I turned down every party invite, gave up all my vices, and worked to put myself and my team in the position we want to be in. Coming from Louisville, we have a different appreciation for this level of success and I refuse to fumble what I can see right in front of me. I’m sure you can see it too. Y’all will likely never get to see how much effort goes into this music, but I think you will be able (to) hear it this time around. Enjoy,” Harlow said

Throughout the entirety of the project, Harlow boasts about his recent success within the music industry and consistently appeases his massive female audience. Truthfully, the first half of the Kentucky native’s newest release remains relatively repetitive. The intro song, “Talk of the Town”, uses jazz-influenced piano keys in which Harlow raps about him falling under the microscope of pop culture. The next song, “Young Harleezy”, brings more hope to the highly anticipated project, even including an appearance by legendary rapper, Snoop Dogg. As the project goes on, the tracklist hits a huge record in “First Class”, which samples singer Fergie’s song, “Glamorous”. This record collected over 150 million streams on Spotify in a relatively quick manner. Despite having a super catchy chorus, Harlow’s verses underwhelmed fans as the flows and topic choices did not match. Continuing down the tracklist, “Movie Star” stood out, which features the legendary Pharrell Williams. Despite receiving unnecessary hate from listeners for the simplicity of the lyrics and production, the straightforward and easy listen creates a nice vibe for people to groove to. 

“Before the album dropped, Jack shared a clip of himself in the studio with Pharrell, who was hyping up their [collaboration]. Man, it’s a big letdown, though. I like that Pharrell pushed him to try something new, but this thing is all over the place. The beat doesn’t lend itself well to Jack’s flow at all, and it’s easily the most awkward, out-of-place track on the album,” Eric Skelton of Complex said

The second half of “Come Home The Kids Miss You” proves much more promising. “I Got a Shot” plays to the roots of Harlow’s past work and contains a contagiously catchy chorus. The album comes to a halt with “Churchill Downs”, featuring the renowned hitmaker Drake. This song leaked about a month before the project was released, and created an insane amount of hype surrounding the album. Fans claimed this as Drake’s best verse in recent years and boasted incredibly deep lines throughout the five-minute track.

Finishing out the project, Harlow uses two other famous names, Justin Timberlake and Lil Wayne, to attract listeners. “Parent Trap” with Timberlake finally touches on topics deeper than Harlow’s relationships with women. The recurring theme of his interactions with women makes this project somewhat repetitive. “Poison” saw a huge amount of potential with Harlow’s singing, but falters with Lil Wayne’s mediocre and random verse. The ending track “State Fair” does a solid job of wrapping things up, and sums up the cultivation of the 24-year-old’s career. 

“Personally, my favorite song is ‘Poison’, because I love the layers that are on it. I definitely wanna hear more of his music in this style because I think it’s soothing and it gives off a lot of early 2000s vibes. It’s super calming and it’s just an overall great listen,” senior Bentley Huff said.

Comparing “That’s What They All Say” to “Come Home The Kids Miss You”, Harlow’s last project, multiple flaws stand out. “Come Home The Kids Miss You” holds no transitions between songs like “That’s What They All Say” do, which shows Harlow’s attempt to make this project single-heavy. The surface-level topics provided little substance for listeners to grasp and hold on to. Though a solid body of work, listeners may seem underwhelmed by this project, as they expected a classic album to come from the grammy-nominated artist. 


The Chant’s Grade: B-