MGK Blasts Jack Harlow On A Hard-Hitting Diss Record
On April 28, Jack Harlow released his latest album, Jackman. The follow up to Harlow’s Grammy-nominated Come Home The Kids Miss You album was a surprise release that came just a few days after Harlow announced it. Unlike, Come Home, which contained radio-friendly hits, like the Fergie-sampling “First Class,” and high profile guest appearances by Drake, Pharrell, Lil Wayne and Justin Timberlake, Jackman. plays much more like a mixtape. The project contains no features, is short on hooks, and finds Harlow kicking introspective and frequently controversial lyrics. Even the image on the cover of Harlow, bare-chested with his arms folded, suggests someone more ready for a street fight than a sing-a-long.
On “Common Ground,” the album’s opener, Harlow takes aim at white listeners of Rap music, who want to be close to Black culture, but not Black people. “It Can’t Be” finds Harlow sharply addressing critics who suggest that his massive success over the last few years is solely due to the color of his skin. “Gang Gang Gang” touches on his need to distance himself from “friends for life” when their behavior goes astray. All of this and more is unpacked extensively on the most episode #108 of What’s The Headline examines.
Jack Harlow Says He’s The Best White Rapper Since Eminem
The song that has generated the most controversy on Jack Harlow’s Jackman., however, is “They Don’t Love It.” On the Hollywood Cole-produced song, Harlow unabashedly proclaims himself to the be the best white rapper since Eminem. Harlow raps “Ya boy’s strivin’ to be the most dominant ever / The hardest white boy since the one who rapped about vomit and sweaters / And hold the comments ’cause I promise you I’m honestly better than whoever came to your head right then / They ain’t cut from the same thread like him / They don’t study, doin’ work to get ahead like him / They don’t toss and turn in the f___in’ bed like him.” With those words, Harlow simultaneously put Eminem on notice that he was coming for the crown, while also asserting his superiority over all other white rappers who have followed Slim Shady.
Many fans have called out Harlow on social media, naming a number of rappers who they believe would eat Harlow’s lunch. Names like Aesop Rock, Mac Miller, Yelawolf, Your Old Droog, Asher Roth, Rittz and others have been cited. One listener who took notice of Harlow’s song was fellow rapper MGK. While the artist and sometimes actor has made more headlines of late for his romance with Megan Fox, he remains one of the most fearless MCs of his generation.
MGK Pours Some Out For Eminem’s Dying Relevance (Video)
For the better part of a decade, the artist also known as Machine G_n Kelly has been embroiled in a heated back and forth with Eminem. In 2012, Kelly tweeted that Eminem’s then 16-year old daughter Hailey was hot. He also followed up with some subliminal diss lines of Em on his verse on TechN9ne’s “No Reason (The Mosh Pit Song).” This led Eminem to go completely scorched Earth on MGK on the song “Not Alike,” from Marshall Mathers’ 2018 album, Kamikaze, an album on which Em dissed a number of people. MGK quickly struck back with his reply song titled “Rap Devil,” a play on Eminem’s dubbing himself the “Rap God.” The two have continued to have testy back and forths since then.
That context is important, as we turn back to MGK and Jack Harlow. Just like MGK was the first to respond to Eminem’s disses on Kamikaze, he is also the first to respond to Harlow’s claims of being the best white rapper since Eminem on “The Don’t Love It.” And, by choosing the “Renegade” beat Eminem produced and rapped on for JAY-Z’s The Blueprint album, MGK has both served Jack Harlow and thrown a rib shot to Em, simultaneously.
Royce 5’9 & Kxng Crooked Discuss Who Was Better On Renegade: JAY-Z Or Eminem (Video)
In the video for “Renegade Freestyle,” MGK is shown in a friend’s back yard, with no frills–just him and a microphone. Notably, he uses the first several bars to provide commentary on himself. He raps “Yo, hey, yo, sit back and watch me do this / Correct all the stupids who tried to put me in a box I had to solve like Rubik’s / With no blueprints, just music / Nothing they say about me on computers compares to a dad who was abusive.” A few lines later, he also addresses substance abusive and disloyal friends.
After turning the lens on himself, MGK shifts his focus to Harlow and his claims about being the best white rapper since Eminem. As if raising his hand to let Harlow know he’s one of the great MCs Harlow offended, Kelly raps “I’m a great white, I can eat these barracudas / See who I am? You’re stupid / It’s nice to meet you / I just put this hole in the ground for you like a soccer cleat shoe.” In the next line, Kelly highlights the artist to whom Harlow should truly be comparing himself, given the similarity in their styles. “I see why they call you Jackman, you jacked man’s whole swag / Give Drake his flow back, man.”
MGK Is The First To Fire Back At Eminem & He Gets Personal (Video)
In the next few lines, MGK continues to serve Harlow while also making subliminal references to his past battles with Eminem, rapping “I eat rappers like Pac-Man/ Must I regurgitate and show you who’s in my stomach from the Last Dance?” Kelly also makes it clear that the tension between him and Em remains. “I hold these grudges I don’t welcome back / F__k subliminal nudgers, I throw these punches and I rap,” he says.
Having harkened back to Micheal Jordan with his “Last Dance” reference, MGK ties into a recent narrative surrounding LeBron James in his last lines. In the Los Angeles Lakers 2023 playoff series versus the Memphis Grizzlies, the Grizzlies’ forward Dillon Brooks said of James after a Memphis victory that James was “old” and “I don’t respect no one until they come and give me 40.” James subsequently came back and dropped 40 on Brooks, albeit in the form of 23 points and 20 rebounds.
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Turning his attention back to Harlow, in his last lines on “Renegade Freestyle,” MGK raps “I love you, look at all, you little Dillon Brooks / I don’t give a f__k if I’m older, I’m colder / You poked the bear in the woods / Came back like LeBron and drop forty on you, like I should.“