‘Who’s Jack Harlow?’: A guide to the unavoidable rap star

A man wearing all white and holding a microphone to his mouth crouches onstage as a sea of hands reaches toward him.
“Come Home the Kids Miss You,” the new album from Jack Harlow, pictured performing at the Kids Choice Awards in April, is scheduled for release later this week.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP)

If you didn’t already know, it’s officially Jack Harlow season.

The Grammy-nominated rapper is gearing up for the release of his sophomore studio album, “Come Home the Kids Miss You,” on Thursday night. The rollout is well underway — the album is projected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart, and Harlow even made a buzzworthy appearance at this year’s Met Gala.

The 24-year-old Harlow rose to mainstream recognition in 2020 after his hit single, “Whats Poppin,” skyrocketed to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then he has become increasingly popular because of his natural hitmaking ability, hilarious social media presence and status as a Gen Z heartthrob.

Here are six things you need to know about Harlow.

1) “First Class”


Last month, the Louisville, Ky., star earned his first solo No. 1 debut on Billboard — he rose to the top of the charts in 2021 with his feature on Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby” — with the album’s second single, “First Class,” which samples Fergie’s No. 1 hit “Glamorous.”

2) “Strictly legends on my album”

The rapper teased and subsequently confirmed a stacked track list of features in a pair of tweets this week.

“Come Home the Kids Miss You” will feature Pharrell, Drake, Justin Timberlake and Lil Wayne, according to a tweet from the rapper on Tuesday. The official announcement comes in the wake of a leaked collaboration with Drake last month; it’s now confirmed to be on the album.

Harlow is no stranger to working with high-profile artists.

On his debut album, “Thats What They All Say,” he compiled a strong list of features that included guest placements from Lil Baby, Big Sean and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. He’s also worked with Lil Nas X and Bryson Tiller and even garnered the attention of Kanye West — ultimately making an appearance on “Donda 2.”

3) Jack Harlow Meets World

On Monday, Harlow released a short clip with the caption “Friday.” to his various social media channels.

The video shows a distressed woman — Danielle Fishel, a.k.a. Topanga of “Boy Meets World” fame — at the wheel of a luxury Range Rover, while two kids in Halloween costumes wrestle over candy. A bed of soft-spoken, angelic vocals looms in the background, seemingly setting the tone for the upcoming album.


4) Harlow shoots his shot at Dua Lipa

The multiplatinum-selling artist channeled his inner Tyler Herro on an untitled snippet from “Come Home the Kids Miss You” that went viral on Sunday. His lyrics playfully name-dropped English pop star Dua Lipa. He also tagged the “Levitating” star in the video. Harlow even went as far as actually naming a song on the album after her — the fifth track in the 15-song tracklist.

“Dua Lipa, I’m tryna do more with her than do a feature,” Harlow raps.

Tyler Herro Basketball GIF by Jack Harlow - Find & Share on GIPHY

5) Ye says Harlow is “Top 5 out right now”

In February, Harlow dropped “Nail Tech,” the lead single for his upcoming album. The song has since racked up more than 80 million streams on Spotify and 25 million views on YouTube.

It even received a rare stamp of approval from Kanye. “Top 5 out right now,” Ye said on Instagram in reference to Harlow’s rapping ability.


6) Is all publicity good publicity?

Harlow made headlines for all the wrong reasons on Sunday while in attendance at Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.

In a now-viral moment, Harlow is shown messing with a camerawoman courtside. In the video, he turns various knobs on the back of her camera while she’s shooting the game. The woman took it in jest and said in a tweet that there is “no bad blood” and that “his team apologized.” She even gave Harlow a simple way to make up for his mischief.

At the same game, during a Wired segment on ESPN, two NBA referees were baffled when Harlow, who was sitting courtside, made it on the big screen as “Nail Tech” played in the background.

“Who is Jack Harlow?” Scott Foster asked fellow ref Ed Malloy.

To which Malloy responded with, “I have no idea. Who is he?”

The video of the two refs trying to figure out who he was made the rounds on the internet Sunday night and eventually made it all the way back to the rap star himself.

Harlow ran with the humorous encounter and quoted it with his own joke, poking fun at the similarities he shares with Mr. Tumnus from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”


“Come Home the Kids Miss You” will be available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music at 9 p.m. Pacific on Thursday.