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Urban Wyatt Jack Harlow
Jack Harlow is giving back to the place where it all started.
The "Industry Baby" rapper, 23, is donating to local organizations in his hometown of Louisville. Harlow tells PEOPLE that his mother always had a "giving heart" — and all he wanted was to do the same.
"I took some counsel from my mom, she has always had a giving heart, and she's no stranger to a lot of these organizations. Aside from that, I really wanted to dive in and figure out what hit home for me," Harlow says.
Harlow is donating to a range of local organizations including: AMPED, Center for Women and Families, Grace James Academy and Louisville Urban League & Metro United Way. He says when it came down to it, it was hard to choose just one.
"It was impossible for me to just choose one, all of these organizations resonated with me and I wanted to make sure there was some range and breadth to the love I was spreading," the "What's Poppin" rapper says.
At the end of the day, Harlow is passionate about his hometown and says it means "everything" to him — so he strives to bring it recognition.
"It means everything. It's my foundation. It's part of my DNA. People joke about how often I reference my home, but it's a huge part of my identity and I want you to think of Louisville when you think of me," Harlow explains. "My career feels like a mission that's bigger than me."
"I know there's a kid in the city with headphones on, getting off the bus, walking home from school — listening to my music, watching my interviews, reading these words right now —that feels like this same dream is possible for him. I want people nationwide to look at Louisville as an important and cultural city," says Harlow.
Harlow's favorite memories from his hometown involve spending time outdoors.
"[I] spent a lot of time on Bardstown Road, walking through the Highlands, getting a feel for what it means to be outside and encountering people. That's what I think about when I think about childhood."
Matt Baron/Shutterstock Jack Harlow
Last month, Harlow performed "Industry Baby" at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards with Lil Nas X.
During the performance, Lil Nas X and Harlow brought the prison theme from their music video to life and performed before a backdrop that read "Montero State Prison."
Harlow also attended the Met Gala the next day wearing Tommy Hilfiger, and shared a sweet story on Instagram about his grandfather living on the same street as the designer.
"My grandpa grew up in a small town called Elmira in New York. My whole life he's been telling me that as a kid, he lived on the same street as Tommy Hilfiger. He claimed their families knew of each other to some degree, and that he watched Tommy build his name and brand from nothing," Harlow wrote.
"Fast forward to a few months ago, I receive a FaceTime. I answered and it was Tommy Hilfiger himself. He told me that he thinks I'm the future, and that he wants to collaborate with me. As flattered and excited as I was, the first thing I brought up was Elmira and my grandfather, just hoping there was a chance he would remember. Tommy couldn't believe it, he said, 'I could see your Grandpa's house from my front porch,'" he continued.
"Don't think it would be unrealistic to say my grandpa may have been part of the reason I was at the Met Gala last night. Amazing how life works," he wrote.
The rapper is currently on his largely sold-out The Crème De La Crème Tour through Nov. 19.