By: Hannah Gliedman and Nagad Omar
Jackman Thomas Harlow, was born on March 13th, 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky. Born to Maggie and Brian Harlow, Harlow was raised on a horse farm with his younger brother.
It wasn’t until Harlow was 12 that he discovered the art of rapping. Harlow was surrounded by music while growing up but wrote his first unofficial rap in elementary school. His rap was geared towards the kids in his grade that bullied him for his eye patch.
By the time he was 12-years-old Harlow had made up his mind that rapping was what he was destined to do, even asking his mom “How do I become the best rapper in the world?”
Harlow was around music quite a bit growing up, his mother introduced him to bands like Tribe Called Quest, while his father was more into country.
Jack released his first rap at 12-years-old which was recorded off of a microphone from the Guitar Hero game, and titled it “Ripping and Rappin” . Harlow gave out 40 copies of the CD to kids at his middle school selling them for $2 each.
After Harlow acquired a real microphone, he began creating songs and putting them online, and he started gaining recognition around his community. After playing a few very small shows with almost no one in the audience, Harlow started gaining fans and created more music.
His first mixtapes were called ‘Moose Gang’ and ‘Moose for the Death’. In 2015, while still in high school, Harlow released his first EP, ‘The Handsome Harlow’, which was followed with a more expanded 2016 mixtape.
Harlow was then signed to the record label “Generation Now” in 2017. From there he started to gain more recognition and started collaborating with bigger artists.
His 2020 EP, ‘Sweet Action’, featured artists like CuBeatz, PoohBeatz, and 2forwOyNE. Harlow’s major breakthrough came from the song “What’s Poppin”, which gained almost 700 million views on TikTok, peaked at #2 on the Billboard top 100, and gave Harlow his first Grammy nomination for best rap performance.
In 2021, Harlow and rapper Lil Nas X collaborated on the song “Industry Baby” that became his biggest hit yet. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard top 100 and became extremely viral on TikTok.
With songs under his belt, Harlow released his first full length official album titled ‘Come Home the Kids Miss You’ in 2022, including songs like “First Class”, “State Fair”, “Dua Lipa”, and “Churchill Downs”. In that album, Harlow collaborated with many known artists like Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, lil Wayne and Drake.
Since then, and because of that album, Harlow has received many awards and recognitions. Harlow is continuing to make music and has also made brand deals with popular shoe brand New Balance and chip brand Doritos.
Harlow did announce he will be making his acting debut in the remake of the movie ‘White Men Can’t Jump’.
Harlow has been nominated for many awards like a Brit award for international song of the year, and a BET awards for best male hip hop artist. Harlow has also been nominated for 6 Grammys in the past 3 years for categories; best rap performance, album of the year, best rap song, best rap album, and best melodic rap performance twice. He has also won 4 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) for song of the summer with “First Class” and best visual effects, best art direction, and best collaboration all won from “Industry Baby” with Lil Nas X.
Harlow was also featured in Forbes “30 under 30” in 2022. Along with being named Variety’s “Hitmaker of the Year”. Jack was also the cover of Teen Vogue in June of 2022, and has gained fans for his charming looks and demeanor.
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