Rapper Jack Harlow had seemed to fade away from the music scene since the release of his second studio album, Come Home the Kids Miss You.
He’s been appearing more on television, whether in New Balance ads with Kawhi Leonard, KFC ads for his own meal, or a trailer for his first starring role in a motion picture with a remake of White Men Can’t Jump.
However, the First Class hitmaker dropped a surprise for his fans on Wednesday, as he revealed he has an entirely new album on the way on Friday.
It was surprising since he hasn’t released any new music, such as a single or two to promote the upcoming album, something he did with his previous two studio albums.
He unveiled the official cover for the album on his Instagram, which has him posing shirtless in a gritty outdoor scene alongside garbage bins and a basketball hoop hanging on a weathered old garage.
“Jackman. My new album. Out this Friday 4/28,” he wrote in his caption, providing a simple yet effective viral promotion.
Fans react to Jack Harlow’s album Jackman cover
Jack Harlow boasts several million followers on various social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. On Wednesday, fans and critics flocked to the comment sections of his posts upon his reveal of the cover for Jackman, a new album dropping out of nowhere for listeners.
One Instagram user commented on his IG post that Harlow needs to do some bulking up for a more muscular shirtless look on his cover.
Another called it the “most Louisville album cover ever,” referring to how Harlow hails from the area.
“can’t be trash because there’s trash cans on the cover; he’s up to something,” one Twitter commenter said.
“Old Harlow is back? The trash bins represent all the trash he has been putting out of lately and he is turning his back on them and is going to release something fire,” another individual tweeted.
However, one suggested the trash bins are a warning sign that the new album isn’t going to be very good.
A popular meme that hit the internet a while back featured Harlow photoshopped onto the body of a centaur from the Narnia movie. Someone joked they want to see the same done with Harlow’s photo from this album cover.
Will Jack Harlow release a No. 1 album with Jackman?
In the world of social media and going viral, it’s possible rapper Jack Harlow thinks he has a secret sauce to finally get himself to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album charts.
The 25-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, dropped Come Home the Kids Miss You last year, and it had the strong single First Class, the rapper’s second No. 1 song, following Industry Baby, the song he collaborated on with Lil Nas X.
Come Home debuted at the No. 3 spot on the charts and went gold with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
His debut album, That’s What They All Say, featured smash hits Tyler Herro and What’s Poppin? It reached No. 5 on the chart but achieved better overall sales, going platinum with the RIAA.
It’s possible that Harlow was dissatisfied with his previous release’s overall reception and wanted to craft something better than ever without letting anyone in on the secret.
Sometimes the best way to create buzz is with a complete surprise that catches fans and critics off guard, which Harlow has done. That could be enough to get listeners curious and push the album higher on the charts upon release.
However, it’ll also need to be something the people want to keep listening to to create the necessary buzz, get people talking online, and achieve more downloads and streams.
Without much pre-album release hype beyond the cover, it’s tough to know for sure if the new album will be fire or trash. However, Harlow seems confident fans will love Jackman with its surprise release on Friday.