Jack Harlow’s “Nail Tech” Hits Every Predictable Note


“Nail Tech” was rapper Jack Harlow’s first release of 2022. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Jack Harlow’s nail tech knows how to keep a secret, and he wants to let you in on it in his first release of 2022. The secret? He wants everyone to know that he’s at the top of his game and plans to stay there. On “Nail Tech,” the Louisville rapper employs what has become his signature confident flow over the bright blast of trumpets and a perfectly produced beat. His lyrics are interspersed with references to his hometown and the rising tide of his success, and you can’t help but get sucked into the snappy rhythm. The track glides just as smoothly as the Tesla his girl is driving. 

Upon first listen, there is an immediate resemblance to his 2021 feature on Lil Nas X’s “INDUSTRY BABY.” Both songs share similar sounding brassy trumpets, as well as a sense of shameless swagger that pervades every lyric. In fact,“Nail Tech” feels like an expansion upon some of the musical themes of “INDUSTRY BABY.” Perhaps “Nail Tech” is Harlow’s way of further exploring a familiar musical blueprint, because despite the likeness, it still works for him.

The trumpets feel less like a marching band, and the beat is faster and a little more complex than that of “INDUSTRY BABY.” All the while, Harlow’s effortless delivery ties the song together with a ribbon and a bow. Yes, he’s arrogant, but still charming enough to pull it off as his charisma lets him get away with his cavalier lyrics. There’s something about Harlow’s air of smug, Southern self–assurance that makes “Nail Tech” feel polished and persuasive.

Nevertheless, the single is not surprising or out of the box for the rapper by any means. It feels expected, especially after the viral success of “INDUSTRY BABY.” If you’re a fan of Harlow, you’ll enjoy the single, but you just might not be blown away by it. Overall, “Nail Tech” is a solid but predictable track. While there’s nothing glaringly wrong with the song, it feels lackluster because we’ve heard most of it before. While I’m not necessarily waiting for the shoe to drop on Harlow, I am hoping that his future musical endeavors explore something other than the trumpet-lined Louisville shoutouts and innuendoes that have begun to line his discography. That being said, it’s early enough in his career to assume that there will be plenty of time for Harlow to continue establishing his presence and leaving his mark on the rap world, and I’m interested to see if he will be able to rise to the occasion.