The three-time Grammy nominee was unveiled as a New Balance ambassador on Thursday.
Jack Harlow warned us.
“I must be gettin’ too flashy,” he posed during his verse on Lil Nas X’s No. 1 smash “Industry Baby.” “Y’all shouldn’t have let the world gas me / It’s too late ’cause I’m here to stay.”
It’s undeniable now that Harlow has carved an influential stock in the future of hip-hop, and during his trek to the top, he has rocked New Balance — including on stage throughout last year’s sold-out Creme De La Creme Tour in support of his debut studio album That’s What They All Say.
This morning, the storied sneaker brand further confirmed that the feeling is mutual — naming the multi-Platinum rapper an official ambassador.
As relayed by Sole Collector, New Balance disclosed that Harlow “will be making appearances in upcoming marketing campaigns and will play an integral role in the brand’s connection to basketball culture. The brand also revealed that Harlow will debut a new performance basketball shoe at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game tomorrow.”
The partnership is more or less a formality.
Harlow hasn’t been shy about professing his loyalties. In his June 2020 “WHAT’S POPPIN” remix, he boasted, “I got a check from the shoe company / Now I do anything that New Balance say.”
And during his December 2020 visit with Complex’s “Sneaker Shopping,” where he spent $1,260 on four pairs of New Balance kicks, he explained what first drew him to the brand.
“The city I’m from — Louisville, Kentucky — you’re surrounded by kids wearing Nike and Jordan, and I had no issue with that, but I did want to stand out early,” he told host Joe La Puma. “I remember I bought some 574s in high school — some navy blue 574s — and I wore them to school one day. People were like, ‘Yo, what’s up with those?'”
“I kind of was getting off on their reaction to that,” the 23-year-old continued. “I think it started — I really liked how they looked, but there was an irony to it at first. Like, Y’all don’t like these? I’m gonna keep wearing ’em. And then, people started to associate them with me.”
By March 2021, Harlow was starring in an ad for the Fresh Foam 1080v11s:
New Balance is the latest deal Harlow struck out of his childhood passions. In December, he announced a one-year partnership with Kentucky Fried Chicken and marked it as a full-circle moment because “growing up I always dreamed of being the biggest artist to come from Kentucky.”
Harlow has certainly put Kentucky on the map, and by extension, multiplied New Balance’s relevance everywhere.