Jack Harlow Shows He’s Drake’s Biggest Threat On Their New Song
One year ago this month, Jack Harlow joined Cordae on Eminem’s “Killer (Remix).” On the song, Harlow, the Louisville, Kentucky MC nearly upstaged one of Hip-Hop’s revered legends. At just 24 years old, Jack appears to be using a fresh collaboration to show that he embraces the spirit of competition—and should be considered a threat to many artists at the top.
“Churchill Downs” is a highlight from Harlow’s just-released Come Home The Kids Miss You. The song features Drake on a Boi-1da co-production. It marks Jack and Drake’s first collaboration. The Kentucky MC is bold with his words and uses a stream of conscious delivery not unlike Drake, as well as a local landmark as a song title. “‘Cause I’m done bein’ extra with the extroverts / The label used to wonder how I’m supposed to stand next to Vert / Prolly never thought that I would get these legs to work / I work hard, but hard sh*t don’t need no extra work / That’s why I show up in a sweatshirt and let it burn / The world’s mine, I just say, ‘F*ck it, let it turn’ / The girl’s mine, I just say, ‘F*ck it, have a turn’ / The G.O.A.T.s call me to the side like, ‘Can we have a word?’ / I could’ve fronted but I did this sh*t how I preferred / Mmm, I know I should be humble, but it’s somethin’ I just haven’t learned.” Harlow feels propelled by the doubt and hardship, alluding to past jabs thrown by fellow DJ Drama and Don Cannon pupil and former Generation Now label-mate Lil Uzi Vert. He is ruthless about relationships and suggests he knows he’s ruffling feathers among the top rappers in the game moments before passing the mic to one. Moments later, the artist who dropped a standout verse on Statik Selektah’s Balancing Act touts: “I’m Hip-Hop, do you fully understand? / Fully automatic with the jams and they don’t jam.”
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Harlow then leans into the moment that is the song. “Ain’t too many cons when you playin’ with the pros / ‘Cept for how your life get exposed, but I make that sacrifice for the life that I chose / I know in Toronto they got soft for the rose, but school’s closed in Kentucky, so I like when it snowed / The kids carry chopsticks not for rice in the bowl / School counselors all know how they life is at home / Cold like the Minnesota Vikings at home / Before I met Drizzy I knew he and I would get along / But it’s really hard to crack jokes when you really want advice / I mean what’s it like to touch gold every time you touch a mic / Touchin’ heights, no one gets a touch in life / F*ckin’ right, young bachelor, what’s a wife? / Once in a lifetime, ’til I say I want it twice / One of a kind, know your everything is one of mine / Wanted posters with my face, they know who I’m wanted by.”
Drake begins his part in the song with a mix of cockiness and vulnerability. “Cold hearts and heated floors, no parental guidance I just see divorce / Therapy sessions, I’m in the waiting room, readin’ Forbes / Abandonment issues I’m gettin’ treated for / How much water can I fit under the bridge before it overflows? / My son’s gotta learn that forgiveness is a lonely road / The cribs on his wheel like motor homes.” Then, like Harlow, Drake wants to demonstrate his flow while bragging about buying the properties around his Los Angeles estate. “Whenever you gettin’ bigger, there’s growin’ pains / I got enough pull to make the city start throwin’ games / I’m out here makin’ a mockery / I got my realtor out here playin’ Monopoly / How can I address you when you don’t own property? / They only finesse you when you don’t move properly / Destined for the win, but you don’t get a prize out of me / I’m destined for the top, but you can’t get a rise out of me / Seven-fifty for the round, canaries, and they glitterin’ / Man, you ni**as drop trash, you littering / I’m over-delivering to the point, it’s belittling / I mean, the PTSD is triggering, the profit is sickening / The stones is shimmering, came from the north / But I got hot as f*ck, so ain’t no shivering.” Then he raps, perhaps alluding to the currently-tepid feuds with Kanye West and Pusha-T. “Lucky me, people that don’t f*ck with me / Are linkin’ up with people that don’t f*ck with me to f*ck with me / This sh*t is getting ugly / And every situation is transactional / And every thing they sayin’ is irrational / And every way they movin’ is promotional / Everybody’s actin’ irreplacable, it’s like they ain’t disposable / My urges for revenge are uncontrollable / I know we’re gettin’ older though, yeah / But I gotta get a ni**a back for that / It’s non-negotiable, it’s not even debatable / I’m gettin’ so rich, my music’s not even relatable.” As Drake shares the mic with one of music’s hottest starts of the last three years, he jokes that he is losing touch. He then continues with the subliminals: “Prayin’ on my downfall don’t make you religious, man / All I hear is plug talk comin’ from middleman / All I hear is tall tales comin’ from little men / When I say ‘b*tch,’ I’m very rarely referring to women / Most of the b*tches I know are ni**as, they not even women / I know that sounds like I’m being funny, I’m not even kidding.”
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Drake closes his verse referencing Jack’s command of the game. Recalling a stop in Louisville, Drizzy raps, “Daytonas with the green faces / Kentucky derby races, my presence in the spot is so abrasive / Boxed up the Churchill downs, that’s motivation, yeah / And shorty like, ‘You know that boy Jack is goin’ places.’“
Come Home The Kids Miss You also features Lil Wayne, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, and some vocals from Snoop Dogg. Harlow self-produces much of the album, with additional involvement from Timbaland. He will be competing for his first #1 album, after (the Lil Nas X collaboration) “Industry Baby” and “First Class” each topped the singles charts.
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#BonusBeat: New music by Jack Harlow, as well as Cordae, Baby Keem, Denzel Curry, Kota The Friend, and Russ, is currently on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist: