Jack Harlow is the hottest rapper in the world right now. Still riding high from his viral Number Two Billboard hit, 2020’s ‘WHATS POPPIN’, the Louisville, Kentucky native has proven himself a success time and again. Since then, he’s released the huge debut album ‘THATS WHAT THEY ALL SAY’ and, in the last year, gained two more Number One hits with Lil Nas X’s ‘INDUSTRY BABY’ and the Fergie-sampling ‘First Class’. Yet his full-length follow-up, ‘Come Home The Kids Miss You’, shows his more subdued side.
On this 13-track record, the 25-year-old samples classic ‘00s throwbacks courtesy of some of the scene’s most integral stars. At the start of the album, Harlow compares himself to a young Lil Wayne with ‘Young Harleezy’, ripping the New Orleans star’s popular punchy cadence. When the two actually collaborate on ‘Poison’, which borrows the thumping bassline of Wayne’s lovey-dovey ‘Mrs Officer’, they make a whirling R&B love tune about “the good kind” of poison a woman could be: “I wanna pull up and flaunt you and take some pics for Getty Images / I like all your beauty marks and blemishes”.
Elsewhere, the sombre, guitar-led ‘Side Piece’ is so charming you could forget Harlow is dedicating the song to his side piece as he “already has a track for his main chick”. This time he samples the fluttery, heart-bursting 2002 Snoop Dogg and Pharrell hit ‘Beautiful’ – however, unlike its predecessor, the lyrics certainly aren’t about chasing that sexy lady in the club: “Lookin’ at me through the phone, baby, blow a kiss / Like Soulja Boy told you, soon I’ma hold you”.
‘Come Home The Kids Miss You’ also boasts a few commercial-sounding tracks, whose beats are more generic than those of his refined subdued ‘00s samples. The bouncy, ska-inspired bass in ‘I Got A Shot’ will have you grooving through your day with an extra pep in your step. On an album full of soppy exploration of Harlow’s love life and what it’s like to be a rap superstar, these chirpy tunes liven up a tracklist that can otherwise be melancholy and monotonous.
He’s always ready to deliver straight bars, a feat Jack Harlow again proves he’s great at on ‘Come Home The Kids Miss You’. However – and the same can be said of ‘THATS WHAT THEY ALL SAY’ – the record doesn’t feature a bunch of seminal tracks, instead packing filler between his knockout singles such as ‘First Class’. You’ll find a gem or two here and there, but this collection’s longevity is questionable.
Release date: May 6
Record label: Generation Now / Atlantic Records