Lil Nas X has taken the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart once again, but he brought Jack Harlow with him this time.
This is the third time Lil Nas X has been in the top spot. The first time was for Old Town Road featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Billboard reports that Old Town Road was No. 1 for a “record” 19 weeks during April-August of 2019.
In April 2021, Lil Nas X was No. 1 once again when he released Montero (Call Me by Your Name) and held that spot for a week.
Industry Baby marks the first time Jack Harlow has been No. 1, but he was in the No. 2 spot in July 2020 for Whats Poppin, featuring DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne.
Not only is this an accomplishment for Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow, but this marks Kanye West’s fifth time on the Hot 100 as a co-writer and co-producer.
Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow are both young musicians who have been climbing song charts and this time reached the top together.
Lil Nas X: From Old Town Road to Montero
In March of 2019, Justin Bieber posted Lil Nas X’s song Old Town Road on Instagram. What followed after was unpredictable.
Old Town Road blew up and landed Lil Nas X a record deal, as well as many spots on the Billboard 100 charts. Old Town Road was on the country charts, but Billboard removed it after deciding “it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”
Having Old Town Road removed from country charts didn’t stop Lil Nas X. He remixed the song with Billy Ray Cyrus and topped Billboard charts for months.
Lil Nas X released his debut extended play (EP), 7, in June 2019. After the EP’s release, Lil Nas X was quiet about his music but wasn’t losing popularity.
In March of 2021, Lil Nas X released the song Montero (Call Me by Your Name), which quickly climbed the charts in April. Not only was this a chart-topping hit, but the music video won Video of the Year at the 2021 VMAs.
Although the Montero album was not released until September 2021, Jack Harlow and Lil Nas X released Industry Baby in July.
Lil Nas X made a show of the release, providing both a “safe for work” and “not safe for work” version of the music video. Jack Harlow was unfortunately not included in any “not safe for work” scenes, but Lil Nas X apologized for the lack of inclusion.
While he may not have been in the shower scene of the Industry Baby music video, that didn’t stop Jack Harlow from reaching No. 1 on the charts.
Jack Harlow’s rise to the top
Although Jack Harlow has not been removed from a Billboard list or sued by Nike, his rise in the music world has been impressive nonetheless.
In an interview with Josh Moss, Harlow tells the story of him asking his mother how he could be the best rapper in the world when he was only 12. To reach 10,000 hours of practice, she calculated he would need to practice four or five hours a day until he was 18.
His response? “Ok.”
The interview was conducted and published in print in 2017. Harlow was a recent high school grad who had talked to record labels and was frequently performing and working for his parents.
In 2018, DJ Drama had Harlow signed with Generation Now record label.
Although he had been creating music for much of his life (including creating a mixed tape with a friend and burning copies to sell to kids he went to school with), his career took off with the release of Whats Poppin in 2020.
The song featured DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne and was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance and MTV Video Music Award for the Best Song of the Summer.
Whats Poppin made it to the No. 2 spot, but Industry Baby brought him to No. 1.
While some may think it’s arrogant of Harlow to say he expected this, Jack Harlow has never been one to doubt himself or his abilities.
When interviewed by Moss, Moss writes that Harlow said, “I’m young. But I’m impatient. It’s crazy to be able to see your prime and not be there yet.” Maybe this isn’t Jack Harlow’s prime yet, but it looks like things are going well for the young rapper.