Jack Harlow Talks Being A White Man In Hip Hop

Jack Harlow

“You stand up next to Black people in a time of need.”

Jack Harlow managed to score one of the biggest Hip Hop hits of 2020. “Whats Poppin (Remix)” featuring DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne climbed to #2 on the Hot 100 chart and earned 5x-Platinum certification.

The Louisville native is the latest white male to find success as a rapper. During an interview with Footwear News, Jack Harlow spoke about his responsibilities as a Caucasian in a culture originally created by Black and Latino artists.

“The things I was doing last summer, any fans who didn’t feel like criticizing the police or were on the other side of things, I was going to weed them out. That could have been a moment for them to no longer be fans,” Jack Harlow said.

He continued, “But what is important is that I lead by example for all the white kids looking at me. This is what you do. You don’t just enjoy Black culture. You stand up next to Black people in a time of need.”

In 2020, Jack Harlow took part in the #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor protests in his hometown. Breonna Taylor is the African-American EMT who was shot and killed in her home when three plainclothes Louisville police officers executed a botched no-knock warrant.

“I feel blessed to have a voice in this period because, one, I’m not a street artist, and two, I’m not Black,” added Jack Harlow. “The only thing keeping me here right now is that level of authenticity, of being myself.”

The 23-year-old Generation Now representative partnered with New Balance for his own sneaker collection. He spoke about his interest in fashion with Footwear News.

“When I first moved to Atlanta, I would go out with some of my OGs to the mall and I would see them buy all this designer stuff. I remember thinking in my head, ‘Oh, when you sign your deal, this is what you do with your money, you go to a designer store and this is how you become a good dresser,’” said Jack Harlow.

The Thats What They All Say album creator continued, “I spent probably about six months to a year buying designer stuff and throwing it on aimlessly, I wasn’t doing it right. But coming down here gave me a taste for high-end expensive fabrics.”