At last month’s BET Awards, some fans on Twitter expressed confusion over Jack Harlow’s presence at the ceremony and his nominations, as Harlow is not black despite participating in what he recognizes to be a gender traditionally black. He addressed the debate in a new interview with Yahoo !, saying, “I feel blessed to have a voice during this time because, one, I’m not a street performer, and two, I’m not black. . The only thing holding me here right now is this level of authenticity, of being myself.
Harlow, who was nominated for Best New Artist, Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, and Best Song for his “What’s Poppin” remix starring DaBaby, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne, seems to factor in both the slight backlash against. him and the cultural change that led to it. He compared the modern era to the era of the rap blogging where artists like Mac Miller and Asher Roth were apparently more easily accepted into hip-hop spaces than some of their predecessors. While white rappers have always prospered economically, not all of them have appeared at the BET Awards or received nominations.
“It was all happening in the fold and there was this energy surrounding it of, ‘We let the white kids come to the party. We’re all in the same boat, ”said Harlow. However, in conversations with fellow Kentuckian Nemo Achida, he notes that since the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, some blacks have expressed a desire to close ranks. “He feels like the country entering these new civil rights moments has almost moved away from ‘Let’s have the white boy at the party’,” he noted of his friend’s observation. . “It became less about diversity together and went back to hip-hop, ‘It must be a black genre.'”
He accepts this new state of affairs philosophically, saying, “It’s just the natural transformation of things, I think” and even agrees that as a participant in a black gender he has a responsibility to come forward for. black people. “The things I was doing last summer, all the fans that didn’t feel like criticizing the police or were on the other side of things, I was going to take them out. It could have been a while for them not to not be fans anymore. But what’s important is that I set an example for all the white kids who look at me. That’s what you do. You don’t just appreciate black culture. You stand by black side when needed. “
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Jack Harlow is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.