Jack Harlow is the platonic ideal of a white rapper. Skilled enough to not embarrass himself and self-aware enough not to make constantly make an ass of himself. The talented native Kentuckian burst onto the scene with 2020’s ‘What’s Poppin?’ and continues to make a strong case for himself as one of the most promising young MCs in hip hop.
Harlow will be the first to admit that his skills didn’t just magically appear, no matter how young he was when he spit his hardest verses. While participating in a fan Q+A on his Instagram Stories, Harlow was asked the question that all rappers get levelled at them at some point: what’s your top five?
There are some unimpeachable figureheads on the Mount Rushmore of rap that are included on nearly all of these lists. It doesn’t matter who the MC is, what their style leans towards, or where they grew up: a top-five without Jay-Z just doesn’t seem right.
Harlow’s list is likely a populist favourite, featuring a number of the most generally accepted rappers of the past two decades. His list is the rap equivalent of listing The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and The Strokes as your five favourite bands: there’s nothing wrong with it, but you’re certainly not going to get any point for originality.
Anyway, after HOV, Harlow rounded out his list with Lil Wayne, Outkast legend Andre 3000, and Drake before calling a tie between Kanye West and Eminem. Through those six choices, Harlow has run the gamut of the most famous, acclaimed, and successful rappers of the past twenty years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Harlow is a man of the people, and his list reflects what a good portion of the general public likes about rap.
Groan all you want about these admittedly mainstream choices, but this will never not be one of the best songs of all time.
Jack Harlow’s 5 favourite rappers of all time:
- Lil Wayne
- Andre 3000
- Kanye West & Eminem