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‘Nail Tech’ by Jack Harlow was great. Good. Well, maybe just okay. (But it’s Jack Harlow!)

| Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Makayla Hernandez I The Observer
Image sources: Luxury Cars, Mapquest, Ballerstatus

I have a confession to make. This will probably be the most biased song review you’ve ever read. I’m owning it. I’m not ashamed to say that I love Jack Harlow and pretty much view every song he releases as the greatest of all time. That didn’t change when he released his latest single “Nail Tech” on Feb. 18. Well, maybe it did, but only a little.

After the rapper took a yearlong break from releasing any music of his own, I was excited to see that Harlow would finally be releasing something new. I was a huge fan of his most recent album, “Thats What They All Say,” and also enjoyed his 2021 single, “SUVs (Black on Black),” but I was still excited to listen to a song of his that wouldn’t have any features.

I discovered that the song was going to drop via Harlow’s Instagram story shortly before it was released. When it was finally released at midnight, I put my Airpods in and listened to it five times back-to-back. I liked it at first, but soon noticed that it sounded a bit familiar to a certain song I had heard before.

In July, Harlow was featured on “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X, which helped him grow in popularity even more. Both Lil Nas X and Harlow received praise after the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for numerous awards. I couldn’t help but notice all of the similarities between “Industry Baby” and “Nail Tech” even during my first listen.

The two songs have similar beats, and the lyrics in Harlow’s verse on Lil Nas X’s song are similar to those in his newest single. “Industry Baby” was a great song, and I listened to it a ton when it was first released, but Harlow’s verse wasn’t indicative of his best rapping. In that case, I found the lower quality to be understandable, since Harlow was only being featured on another artist’s song. I even thought his verse on “Industry Baby” came off as a bit arrogant, though it may have been warranted since he had recently become more popular. “Nail Tech,” however, has a similar flow, and also presents Harlow as a tiny bit arrogant. I actually kind of like it anyway. 

Throughout “Nail Tech,” Harlow is critical of those who bad-mouth him. He says, “Most of y’all ain’t wealthy (nope) / Most of y’all just dress like it / I caught the vibe that y’all givin’ off / And I’m tryna make myself less like it,” bragging about his wealth before rapping about his chains, cars and clothes later in the song. While these lyrics would probably annoy me if they came from any other artist, I’m inclined to give Harlow a free pass — just this once — since I love his voice so much.

The song is catchy, and even though it has some similarities to “Industry Baby,” it does offer listeners something that the Lil Nas X song doesn’t: an opportunity to listen to Jack Harlow for an uninterrupted three minutes and 28 seconds. For that reason, I’ll continue listening.

Honestly, I would still continue to support Jack Harlow even if he keeps releasing music similar to “Nail Tech,” but I won’t lie; I’m hoping he’ll release more songs similar to my favorites from “Thats What They All Say” like “Rendezvous,” “Funny Seeing You Here” or even “Tyler Herro” if he drops more music anytime soon.

Song: Nail Tech

Artist: Jack Harlow 

Label: Atlantic Records

If you like: “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X

Shamrocks: 4 out of 5

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About Veronica Navarro

Veronica Navarro is a junior at Notre Dame from South Bend, IN. Navarro is also a member of the Notre Dame Mock Trial team and a resident of Flaherty Hall.

Contact Veronica