Jack Harlow’s fast rise in Hip Hop has seen him achieve a number of feats already. He notched his first solo No. 1 single with “First Class,” less than a year after his “Industry Baby” collaboration with Lil Nas X also took the top spot. His debut album, That’s What They All Say, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart and he’s now up to portray an updated version of Billy Hoyle in the White Men Can’t Jump reboot
For all his success, critics have hit back at Harlow regarding how race may have played a factor in his meteoric rise over the last two years. Noted rapper, producer and scholar David Banner was stopped by TMZ Hip Hop at LAX on Friday (April 22) and didn’t hesitate to proclaim Harlow had an added factor propelling his career.
“White people in America … white people in the world are propped up on everything,” Banner began. “White people’s whiteness is a benefit to them everywhere in the world. Systematic racism is all over the world, so of course! Even the so-called good white people know that white supremacy and know the way dark-skinned people are treated that them being white helps them.
“So as much as they don’t want to see Black people die in the middle of the street, they know that white supremacy benefits them. So of course! I think he would tell you that. It don’t matter what you do. If white people run the structures, it’s gonna benefit them.”
Banner’s critique understates a far more overarching point in Hip Hop regarding the success of white rappers, dating back to Eminem in the late ’90s and early 2000s and recently Macklemore, who famously called out his white privilege while promoting the song “White Privilege II” in 2016 but also became a lightning rod for criticism after he famously won Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys in 2013.
As the debate rages on about Harlow’s perceived privilege, legends such as DMC of Run-DMC couldn’t understand why Harlow was being hated on due to the belief he makes good music. While speaking outside of a recording studio in NYC on Friday (April 22), the 57-year-old “Walk This Way” star shrugged off the assumption Harlow was getting on because he’s white.
“People are ignorant,” he told TMZ. “People like his music, so his music is gonna do something for him. Art doesn’t have a color. The art succeeds where politics and religion fails. So stop being bigoted, stop being prejudiced and stop being biased and let’s come together to make the world better for everybody.”