“First Class,” which determines the speed at which this album is released, can be read in many ways. On the other hand, the beginning is basically a highly engineered TikTok trend, a sample of Fergie’s “Glamorous” that lends itself to choreography fit for a phone screen. But get past that and you’ll find that the song’s lines are full of rhymes and inner tension. And “Nail Tech”, Which takes its name from the manicurist’s modern parlance, and is among the toughest songs on the album, skilled enough to make Kanye West. mail That Harlow was among the “Top 5 out now.”
In many ways, West’s “808s & Heartbreak” innovations and Drake’s innovations that followed set a model for Harlow. But when he worked with Drake on a song for that album, “Churchill Downs,” he chose not a melodic, pop-oriented song, but rather an intense vocalist: “I thought the restraint would be refreshing. We’re just showing our love for the craft.”
Harlow is still close to Private Garden, a crew of Louisville rappers and producers that’s been around for years. (Some members contributed to the production of the new album.) But he’s a rising star, and with that interest comes accountability and influence. On “Baxter Avenue,” the contemplative concluding track from Harlow’s 2020 main album “That’s what they all say,” He approaches circumstances with earnest humility and a slight dash of anxiety, describing his realization of what he has—and what he doesn’t have—accessibility as a white man in rap, as well as the responsibilities that come with the role.
“Especially where I come from, you know, blacks didn’t have a lot of opportunities,” Harlow said. “I think people have been waiting for me to, like, collect all this and take off and be bigger than life and come back to be like, ‘Yeah, look how huge I am! Aren’t you proud?”
But Harlow does not want to separate from the society that raised him: “What people really need and want to see is like, ‘Come on With me.’ How many opportunities can you create? How many people can you appoint to their position? “
With this as his goal, Harlow has long decided that being musically shy wouldn’t serve his ultimate ends. “My competitive spirit is what defines hip-hop,” he said.
“I feel like any respect I earn is because people can see that I love this. I love this as a kid who really grew up on hip-hop, not looking at this as such a cool trend, such a great way to get famous,” he said. “I really want to play.”
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