Cardinals Crusher: On Jack Harlow’s “Dark Knight”

Ethan Davenport takes a look at the latest single from Louisville's Jack Harlow.
By    November 6, 2017

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Ethan Davenport roots for Russ Smith in China.

The mood in Louisville has been mostly somber, I imagine, since the news spread of Rick Pitino’s firing. This was a month ago. Everyone recovers differently, but it seems Jack Harlow’s preferred coping mechanism is announcing an upcoming project and then dropping a new track with a video to accompany. And we should be there for him while he goes through these tough times.

A product of Louisville, Jack Harlow has been writing and rapping since 12 and the experience shows in his mixtapes (Handsome Harlow & 18). The one-liners are abundant, the melodies strong, and his poise is unwavering. Compared to his most recent releases, Harlow sounds like he has something more to prove with “Dark Knight.” This new single is Harlow showcasing such feisty lyricism and raw confidence, you forget he’s only 19.

Produced by 2forwOyne, “Dark Knight” is a bars-only, two-minute track where Harlow raps about some relatable health issues (“Right back to it never left though/ Except for that week I had strep throat”) and throws in lines about his take-out tendencies (“Chicken finger plate for the road, dog/ Heard that you was working on a mixtape/ Really you can keep it like the coleslaw”). On one of the spookiest beat this week, every line comes off as boastful, but still absurdly self-aware. He is what every JV basketball player aspires to be when hopping off the bus.

Check out the video and you’ll find Harlow dancing around a lonely Louisville night with his crew. It doesn’t take long to conclude that New Balances, thick-rimmed glasses, and curly locks will not immediately eliminate you from hip-hop contention.