REVOLT’s new interview series “You Good?” is hosted by Terrence J. On it, the media personality speaks to his friends about their time social distancing and COVID-19, and much more.
In this week’s episode of “You Good?” host Terrence J chopped it up with Louisville rapper Jack Harlow. The rising star discussed finding inspiration during Coronavirus, how the pandemic has affected his touring, and much more.
Although he’s only 22, Jack has been rapping since the early age of 12. Along with the help of his friend Sharath, the pair recorded and released a rap CD titled Rippin’ and Rappin’, which they also sold copies of at their middle school.
Jack had already released two mixtapes, his first commercial album titled The Handsome Harlow, and gained the attention of several major labels by the time he graduated high school in November 2014.
At the top of the year, the Private Garden label co-founder released his single “What’s Poppin” along with a visual shot by business executive and director Cole Bennett. As of May 2020, the music video has exceeded 40 million views.
Check out the highlights from this week’s episode below and be sure to tune in each week for new guests and new discussions.
1. How COVID-19 has affected touring
The Coronavirus pandemic has halted all concerts and festivals until the foreseeable future, putting a strain on many artists who rely heavily on being on the road. When asked how the pandemic has affected his touring, Jack revealed that he’s not trying to dwell on it too much.
“It’s not ideal, but I’m trying to see the brighter side of things and trying to look at the glass as half-full because this could be going on and I wouldn’t have a hit record,” Jack explains. He added, “It might end up being a blessing in disguise, so I try not to get too down about it. I love to be on the road. I’d love to be picking up bags at all the clubs, but for now, God wants me inside and he wants me working on music. So, I’m at peace.”
2. Finding inspiration during the Coronavirus pandemic
As social distancing continues to be imperative to stopping the spread of Coronavirus, some may find it hard to gather motivation stuck at home. The Louisville rapper tells Terrence that he isn’t letting quarantine stop his creative process and that inspiration could still be found even during the toughest times.
“The darkest times sometimes produce the best art. I’m drawing inspiration from what the world’s going through right now. In 30 years, when they listen back, 2020 is going to be remembered like this,” Jack explains. “What’s going on right now, that’s how they’re going to remember 2020 and I like the art to reflect that. I’m not making as many party records because I’m not in as many parties. I’m letting the world guide my pen.”
3. Jack discusses music he’s been listening to lately
When asked what new music he has been listening to, Jack tells Terrence that he’s been actually playing catch up. “I’m listening to a lot of older music. I’m listening to a lot of ‘70s music. A lot of David Bowie, Hall & Oats, and Marvin Gaye. I’ve really been doing my studying because there’s a lot of music that’s iconic to people and shifted cultures that I missed out on,” Jack explains.
He added, “I’m really taking this time to try and absorb stuff I never absorb. There’s hit songs from the ‘70s and ‘80s. I don’t know that everyone knows, so I’m going back and every day I’m doing my research.”
4. How Jack’s love for film has impacted his music
As Terrence and Jack discussed movies they’ve caught up on during their influx of free time, the rapper revealed his love for the medium and how it played a role in his approach to songwriting. “I like movies as much if not more than music. I think a lot of it attributes to my writing style. Some of my music has been described as cinematic, and I don’t know how intentional that was, but I like to paint pictures,” Jack tells the host. “I like conversation music. I like movies with a lot of dialogue. If anything, it’s even more of an artistic thing. I love characters. I love it when they say fly stuff.”
Jack continued, “That’s what bars are to me. You can get clever. You can get metaphorical. But, how original can you say something no one else will say? That’s really what the root of it is.”
5. Quarantine goals
Now may be the best time if ever to start checking some things off your goal list. Jack disclosed that one of his goals was to get more fit and that he has already began to see some results. “I’ve lost 12 pounds since quarantine started just from running, so I’m happy about that,” Jack tells the host.
Still, songwriting appears to be the 22-year-old’s primary objective. “I’ve been writing a lot. I’m pretty satisfied with what I already have, but it makes me want to put my foot on the pedal even harder right now just so I can say there was a silver lining to all this,” Jack says. “I can look back and say, ‘Wow, look at what we created and what we did during that dark time.’”