Jack Harlow Opens Up About Knowing His Place as a White Man in Hip-Hop


“I feel blessed to have a voice in this period because, one, I’m not a street artist, and two, I’m not Black,” the Louisville, Ky.-based MC told Footwear News. “The only thing keeping me here right now is that level of authenticity, of being myself.”

He recalled his previous conversations with his friend and fellow Kentucky rapper Nemo Achida, who is Black, about the state of hip-hop following the resurgent Black Lives Matter movement last summer. Harlow has joked about the white kids being invited to the party before in his single “Tyler Herro,” when he raps, “I brought a gang to the party with me/ Five white boys, but they not *NSYNC.” But he believes the genre is now headed toward a direction that brings the focus back to the Black community.

“All of this stuff was coming into the fold and it had this energy surrounding it of, ‘We’re letting the white kids come to the party. We’re all in this together,’” Harlow said. “He feels like the country going into these new civil rights moments almost shifted away from, ‘Let’s have the white boy at the party.’

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