In a new interview with The Breakfast Club, Jack Harlow, who just dropped off his new album Come Home the Kids Miss You, said that he added more bars to his verse on “Churchill Downs” after he heard Drake’s contribution to the track.
When the song came up in conversation at the 16:00 point, Harlow said that he was “devastated” about the track leaking, which led Charlamagne to ask, “When you heard Drake’s verse did you want to rewrite yours?”
“I wanted to add to it,” he responded. “The moment he did it. He went stupid. … I feel like that’s one of my best verses. But he went so crazy that I was like, ‘Yo I’m gonna have to add bars or everyone’s gonna say he bodied me on my shit.” Asked if he did, in fact, add more bars to the track, he replied, “Yeah, I did.” Initially, Drake’s verse on the track was longer than Harlow’s, but the version on the album includes “new bars” and their verses “are the same length now.”
Charlamagne asked if he thinks it’s “disrespectful” when a rapper turns in a guest verse that outdoes the original artist, to which Harlow admitted he was “split” on it. “I actually feel like, it comes from a place of respect almost, because they had to get into that bag,” he continued. “I don’t know how I could ever feel disrespected because what are you supposed to tell somebody, you know? … Some of his bars meant so much to me, that I could tell he was, like, tipping his hat to me in a way that made me feel great.” Charlamagne joked that Drake simply wanted to “body” DJ Drama’s artist on his own song, and Harlow laughed, “I doubt it.”
He also reflected on his first time meeting Drake, and said he met with the OVO rapper for the first time in 2019. “He was walking across the party, and saw me and came over to me,” he said. “At the time I was pretty wide-eyed, I didn’t have a big record out at all. But he tapped in on me, and told me, ‘Yo, you got some hard shit.’ He just told me that, it meant the world to me.”
From there he went on to talk about the videos of them together in Turks and Caicos, specifically the clip that showed Harlow lurking beside Drizzy as he was on his phone. “I didn’t see his phone, I was looking into his earlobe,” he said, which he noted was “very clean.”
Earlier this month, the Kentucky rapper went viral after a video showed two NBA referees asking who Jack Harlow was. During that same game, he appeared to mess with a camerawoman filming the court. “People were mad on the internet, you know me and her were laughing the whole game,” he said at the 21:15 point. You know I ended up apologizing to her because I never imagined that’s what would happen.”
At the 13:30 part, he was asked if Dua Lipa has responded to his track named after her. “Not publicly,” he said. “I wanted to get her blessing, so I FaceTimed her and played it for her because I didn’t want her to be blindsided by that, or you know creeped out or anything. … If she said, ‘Yo I hate it I don’t want it to come out,’ it wouldn’t’ve come out. But, she was like, ‘Oh, I mean… It’s not my song, I suppose it’s okay.’ She was just kind of thrown off, and she just let it go.”
Asked by Charlamagne if he has a crush on the singer, he replied with a smile, “I admire her.” He said their conversations since have been “less awkward,” and that she’ll “grow to appreciate” the song more as it releases. “Not if it flops, if it flops you don’t stand a chance with her, buddy,” said Charlamagne, to which Harlow replied, “You right.”
Elsewhere in the chat, Harlow said that his mother introduced him to rap music, and when she was told he was to appear on Kanye’s Donda 2 she cried. Also to coincide with the release of his new album, he sat down for an extensive interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music.
“More than anything, I just take notes from him [Drake] on his actions,” Harlow told Lowe. “He’s leaving a blueprint behind, you know what I’m saying? The same way Jay left a blueprint. Same way Ye left a blueprint. … I just pull from the playbook of all the legends where it resonates with me. Ye is a huge one for me, just resonates with me massively. I see what he did. But I think it all just comes from just being the route of just not being a street artist. Because it’s just something so traditionally street about this genre. And if you’re not street… I’m not the first artist to come through that isn’t that.”
He also shared his initial reaction to Drake’s verse on “Churchill Downs,” which he previously said made him feel disappointed that it leaked. “I was just really just so blown away by his verse just as a whole,” he added. “I addressed things on my verse that don’t expect him to have to answer for. … He was getting something off of his chest and I don’t even think it’s for me to shed light on or clarify.”
Since his rise to fame, the rapper has faced accusations that he’s an “industry plant,” but he said that couldn’t be further from the truth. “My career had very humble beginnings,” he explained. “It makes me so proud to really be able to say that I’m like, out of everyone in the game right now, one of the furthest from [an industry plant].” He added that he’s explored this on his songs before, doing open mic shows, South by Southwest, and other low-key shows and festivals before topping the charts.
“My first tour, I went to Madison, Wisconsin, did a bar with eight people in it, like I felt those feelings of not being the guy at all,” he said. “I felt all, I did this, but it’s like you said, once you’re there in this bubble, and if people didn’t see any of that, they’re like, ‘Where’d he come from? Wow, he just got it dropped in his lap.’”
Watch Jack Harlow’s Breakfast Club interview above, and stream his new album here.