Jack Harlow is hitting the road this fall for another trek across North America, which means the Louisville, Kentucky-bred rapper will have to figure out his laundry situation again, his least favorite part of touring. The Mission Tour is set to kick off on Oct. 18 in Chicago and will run through November.
“I’m just ready to perform this new music,” he tells Billboard from the back of DJ Drama’s tour bus. “My new tape has a bunch of songs that go crazy at shows. I’ve been playing the same music for a year, so the biggest thing I can’t wait to do is try out these new songs and watch the crowd react. It’s the best feeling in the world seeing them sing along.” Tickets for the tour hit the general public on Aug. 23, starting at 10 a.m. local time.
Harlow is also gearing up to drop his most vulnerable and refined project to date this year. The project’s rollout will be set in motion on Wednesday (Aug. 21) with the release of “Thru the Night,” which finds the 21-year-old connecting with one of his heroes in fellow Louisville native Bryson Tiller, who opts to flex his rapping prowess on the Usher-sampling track.
“Trapsoul came out my senior year, and that’s all we were listening to in the ‘Ville. I was riding around and playing that shit on repeat. He was the hottest thing going. I always dreamed of doing a song with him,” Harlow forecasted. “Now that we got one, of course it means the world to me.”
In addition to finding The Mission Tour dates below, check out the rest of our interview with Harlow, as he preps for his upcoming tour. Harlow talks explains he got Bryson Tiller on “Thru The Night,” and talks what fans can expect from his new project (which he expects to be the best release of the year), the biggest thing he learned while touring with Wiz Khalifa, and more.
Look for “Thru The Night” and the coinciding video to drop Wednesday (Aug. 21).
What can fans expect with your new tour kicking off in October?
Jack Harlow: Since the last two tours, the numbers have doubled. I’m expecting to walk out and see a big group of people.
What’s your favorite and the worst part about life on the road?
Organizing my clothes. I never know what to do with my dirty clothes. Do you put them in a bag or let it build up in a separate part of the suitcase? If you tour in the winter, you’re inevitably going to get sick. Those are the main things, but the best part is just getting paid to party every night.
How did your upcoming single, “Thru the Night,” come together with Bryson Tiller?
I was in Las Vegas with [DJ] Drama, and Bryson’s assistant was there with us. Bryson and I have been cool on social media, but we’ve never had any direct contact. In the club I told her, “I got a record.” The next morning, she texted me, “Don’t forget to send me that song.”
I sent it, and then he DM’d me saying it was hard. He didn’t do it right away, but I saw him at [the Kentucky] Derby and was like, “Yo, I’m ready for that verse. I got a project coming.” He knocked it out after we saw each other in person, and then we got to chop it up for real.
in high school i had nothing but Bryson playing in my car…i remember @yungskylark showed me Don’t on soundcloud when it had 400k and he told me it was his friend who was next up…i remember when Bryson first said ‘502 come up’ on Sorry Not Sorry it was a different air in the city…everyone felt like they could get on because one person made it feel like a movement…shoutout to the legend for coming out
What did you think when you first listened to it?
I was at Rolling Loud. I thought it was hard on the first listen. He was just flowing on there. He was so in pocket, and I really liked it. A lot of people wished he sang on it, but I kind of appreciated that he rapped on there. First off, how you going to sing over Usher? He murked it and matched my energy.
How was shooting the visual for it?
The video was a lot of fun, but there’s a little surprise at the end of it too. I’m in my element and Bryson’s in his own. That’s what people want to see; it’s just a party on camera. We had a good time, and we shot it in Louisville.
I heard you have a project coming later this year.
Yeah, we definitely have the project of the year coming. I can’t say too much yet. In my opinion, it’s the best project that’s coming out this entire year. I really feel that way and I’ve never said that about one of my projects. I’ve thought I had good music in the past, but this right here, I feel like this could win a Grammy award if I was in the right space. I’m really confident in it. It’s the project of the year.
What was inspiring you at the time you made this project?
I think this project is a lot more personal than my last one. I have a lot of honesty on there, the writing is better, and the songs are more complete. There’s complete records all over it, opposed to little ideas I’ve come up with. There are more concepts and themes to go behind the music. I think it’s just good music and better art. It’s more uptempo. It’s fast pace and feels like a party.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest difference in your artistry from a couple years ago to now?
I would say there’s been more of a difference in the last year as far as really tapping in and getting back to writing. The last project was filled with me freestyling and having fun. You know, getting faded and just experimenting. And then on this one, I really honed in on being concise with my lyrics and writing.
I want to be a superstar. It will be a feeling. Of course, I can put a number behind it and tell you how many followers I want and how big of venues I want to sell out — but I just want to be one of the hottest artists coming out. You know a superstar when you see one.
How did you start your weekly 10 Questions segment connecting with your fans on social media?
At times, I feel like I can be a little closed off to people I don’t know. People have to get really close to me to experience my personality. I figured I needed to do something to bridge that gap with my fans and let them get to know me. I wanted to make them feel like we’re connected and give them something they could look forward to week-to-week. I want to be honest, give them some game, let them get to know me, inspire people, and just have fun with it.
Have there been any gems you’ve picked up on while touring with Wiz Khalifa and DJ Drama?
I’ve been kicking it with Wiz every night. He’s a professional, which is crazy to say because he has so much fun with it. His reputation everyone knows him for is this cool, fun dude. He’s even cooler than people say he is. He’s just a down-to-earth dude. One thing I’d say, he just wants me to have more fun with it and stop being so critical of myself.
I asked him what his favorite song to perform was and he said, “‘Black and Yellow.'” I couldn’t believe he said that shit. I feel like most artists get tired of their hits. I get tired of songs I did a year ago. He goes, “What you mean? Why would I be tired of it? That song is fire and people react to it. It’s a hit.” That made me gain a lot of respect for him.
Thanks for having me. I imagine I’ve been spoiled for my first big tour experience, because this has to be one of the best human beings you could go on the road with. First night of the tour I walked backstage and he saw me and approached me. It was our first time meeting, he told me how happy he was I was there and how much he liked my music. Every night he sat on the side of the stage and watched everyone perform from the start of the show til he went on. A super rare guy.
The Mission Tour Dates:
Oct. 18 – Chicago, Ill. @ Bottom Lounge
Oct. 19 – Detroit, Mich. @ Deluxx Fluxx
Oct. 20 – Toronto, On. @ The Velvet Underground
Oct. 23 – Boston Mass. @ Brighton Music Hall
Oct. 24 – New York, N.Y. @ SOB’s
Oct. 25 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ The Foundry
Oct. 26 – Washington D.C. @ Union Stage
Oct .27 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Underground
Oct. 30 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Terminal West
Oct. 31 – New Orleans, La. @ Republic
Nov. 1 – Houston, Tx. @ House of Blues Bronze Peacock
Nov .2 – Austin, Tx @ Antone’s
Nov. 3 – Dallas Tx. @ House of Blues Cambridge Room
Nov. 6 – Scottsdale, Ariz. @ Pub Rock
Nov. 7 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Roxy Theatre
Nov. 8 – Oakland, Calif. @ The New Parish
Nov. 9 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Harlows
Nov. 12 – Eugene, Ore. @ WOW Hall
Nov. 14 – Portland, Ore @ Hawthorne Theatre Lounge
Nov. 15 – Seattle, Wash. @ Neumos
Nov. 16 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Fortune Sound Club
Nov. 19 – Denver, Co. @ Bluebird Theater
Nov. 21 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th St Entry
Nov. 22 – Madison, Minn. @ Majestic
Nov. 23 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Firebird
Nov. 24 – Indianapolis, Ind. @ HI-FI Indianapolis
Nov. 26 – Columbus, Ohio @ The Basement
Nov. 27 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Grog Shop
Nov. 29 – Louisville, Ky. @ Paristown Hall
Dec. 1 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement East