Jack Harlow: is he really just a pretty face?

Harlow’s second album, “Come Home The Kids Miss You,” is said to be one of the most unmemorable albums of 2022. So the question is: does he really have talent or is he just good looking?


Photo courtesy of jackharlow.us

“Come Home the Kids Miss You” is Harlow’s first studio album

Roman Pallotto, Arts & Culture Writer

Jack Harlow recently came out with his second studio album, “Come Home the Kids Miss You,” after his blowup on TikTok in 2020. The album consists of 15 songs with various featuring artists including Drake, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Lil Wayne. However, even with these record breaking artists, the album did not effectively meet many listeners’ expectations. 

In this album, Harlow discusses topics such as his rise to fame and his love life with women. Throughout the album you can definitely hear his flirtatious personality shine through the lyrics, but simply enough that’s all you really get from this album. Most of the songs talk about his interests in women which he is notoriously known for because of his interviews with women and fan interactions. 

The album does consist of some chill instrumentation such as in the end of the song “Side Piece” and the beginning of the song “I’d Do Anything To Make You Smile.” However, most of the production in this album consists of plain beats and rhythms. Production wise nothing sticks out in this album, even with many impressive contributors. It is safe to say that not even the contributors could save the project. 

One of the interesting parts of this album though was his story from being a 12-year-old with a dream to being a 24-year-old with exactly the life he dreamed of. In the song “Young Harleezy” the first few lines of the song really captures his rise to fame: “I was in seventh grade selling hard CD’s / I was on stage, talent show, heart beating / Now I make it sound like I write bars easy / But I’m ten years in, it took me eight to start eating, six to start drinking, nine to give it up.” The way Harlow was able to capture his whole rap experience from 12 years old to 24 in just a few lines was nothing less than impressive. This song was one of the only songs that stood out to me on the album, so if you were to listen to one song, I recommend listening to this one just for the lyrics alone.

The album has yet to gain some traction in the mainstream media besides one song that went viral on TikTok. After a video of Harlow in the studio singing along to his song “First Class” went viral on social media platforms, the streaming numbers took off. Thousands of videos on TikTok were created using the song, and it received some pretty positive reviews. Personally, this was another song I enjoyed from the album as it has a pretty down-low vibe to it and is fairly catchy. 

Overall, the reviews of the album have not been that positive compared to those of “First Class.” According to HiphopDX, the album deserved a rating of 2.2 out of 5. They claimed that the album “is about as refreshing as a glass of lukewarm tap water.” RollingStone stated that Harlow “seems wary of embracing a thematic ambition beyond fame for fame’s sake and a desire to dominate the pop-rap marketplace.” As you can see, many critiques from this album come from Harlow’s inability to change up his style. Many of the songs on this album sound like songs you’ve heard a hundred times before. 

However, for being relatively new to the rap scene, Harlow has been able to hold his own. From 2019 to 2022 he has accumulated three BET Hip Hop nominations, six Billboard Music nominations (winning one), three Grammy nominations, one iHeartRadio nomination and two VMA nominations. 

These past few years Harlow has been able to make a name for himself, so many are interested to see where he goes in the next few years. I hope to see him focus more on his own music rather than his features as that is where half of his fame comes from. By doing this, he can both better his reputation as a rapper and his discography as a whole. 

So the question is, is he actually talented or is he really just a pretty face? While I believe most of the hype around him comes from his looks, you have to have some sort of talent to be nominated for that many awards in a few years. However, this album is not helping the fact that many people mostly know him for his looks and personality rather than his music. If you’re interested in some chill beats and mediocre lyricism and production then the album is right for you, but personally I will not be coming back to this project.