With everyone sequestered and self-quarantining due to the coronavirus, we’ve asked our favorite artists to come up with playlists that keep you entertained. Here’s Jack Harlow:
This is a small collection of songs that I’ve put together over time as a point of reference, to ensure I don’t lose track of some great stories. A lot of times when I hit writer’s block, or need inspiration, I find listening to a songwriter or singer tell a story gives me the battery to do the same. Staying inside is the most important thing we can do right now to fight this thing, so during this quarantine I’ve been really inspired to write a lot of anecdotal music that reflects moments from the past. Great stories can last forever. And we need these stories, now more than ever.
“Int’l Players Anthem” – UGK, Outkast
I mean…this song starts with one of the greatest verses in hip-hop history. Such inspired writing, told so uniquely. “I apologize if this message gets you down, then I CC’d every girl that I’d see, see round town”…Amazing.
“Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets” – Johnny Paycheck
One of my father’s favorite songs; a song I grew up hearing in the house my whole life. The title alone is amazing imagery. Beautiful record about a man having an affair with a woman that is married to a man much richer than he is.
“River Road” – Jack Harlow
One of my proudest pieces of work and easily my most vulnerable song.
“Rich Girl” – Hall & Oates
Aside from the story itself, this song is so sonically attractive to me. So warm and easy on the ears. Great picture painting.
“The Art of Peer Pressure” – Kendrick Lamar
One of the better songs of the 2010s…Perfect honest depiction of Kendrick’s teenage years, decisions he was pushed to just to be accepted by friends. An experience everyone can relate to, but rarely told so vividly. And Kendrick tastefully tells the story from a perspective that sounds like he is still there in that space, as opposed to breaking character with the wisdom and reflection he obviously possesses now.
“You’re So Vain” – Carly Simon
I like this one for the same reason I like Rich Girl. Just painting a picture of someone’s worst traits. This type of writing makes it obvious that these records are about a real person in the writers’ lives.
“Me & Mrs. Jones” – Billy Paul
More infidelity being depicted. Forbidden and raw. Great music.
“Fairweather Father” – Carly Simon
Carly writing about how bad of a father her husband is…Vicious and honest…sure to cause a rift in real life but that’s what makes it so tight.
“Harper Valley PTA” – Jeannie C. Riley
Just discovered this song recently and apparently its a real classic with old heads. Great story. Worth listening.
“She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed” – Johnny Duncan
Mans telling his homeboy that if he doesn’t wanna treat his girl right, he’s welcome to pass her off to him, because she’s a real gem. Too real.
“A Life In The Day of Benjamin Andre” – Outkast
A long and detailed story about 3 stacks’ life. Very personal and informative. Writing style super engaging.