Jack Harlow
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Meaning of the song ‘State Fair’ by ‘Jack Harlow’

Released: 2022

In “State Fair,” Jack Harlow reflects on his newfound fame, grappling with the invasion of his privacy while acknowledging the benefits of his successful career. The track celebrates his achievements while also revealing a longing for his simpler, pre-fame life in his hometown, Kentucky.

The introduction dives straight into Harlow’s distaste for the paparazzi’s intrusive behavior, expressed in the lines, “My pet peeve is a camera in my face / Have you ever heard of personal space?” He laments the loss of his anonymity, signified by people recognizing him even when he’s in disguise. However, he acknowledges the material benefits of fame and success, hinting at a future where he will have a maid and all the surfaces in his house will be suede, reflecting luxury and opulence.

Harlow expresses nostalgia for his hometown, wishing to return and shut down the state fair, a symbol of his humble beginnings. The phrase, “shut down the state fair,” suggests not just a homecoming, but a triumphant return, showcasing his success to those who knew him before fame. Harlow confidently believes that he can now have any girl from his hometown and casually talk about buying buildings, indicating his financial ascension.

The song’s refrain, “Look how they act now / They fucking with Jack now,” illustrates Harlow’s perceived change in how people treat him in the wake of his fame.

In the second verse, Harlow reflects on his journey and growth, mentioning “locked-in,” which represents his devotion to his career. He nods to his musical influences, referencing Pen Griffey (Bryson Tiller) and Sade, and how he’s become an influential figure himself. When he says, “This album’s a museum, so please don’t touch a thing,” Harlow is asserting his artistic integrity and the worth of his work.

He also reveals his desire for “power” and “respect”—more than material possessions highlighting his drive for control and validation in his success. Harlow points out the change in his flow from potential to grown, signifying his evolved lyrical prowess. As he navigates fame, he clearly states he’s on another level compared to others when he says, “Fuck the fame, from the jump, we ain’t been cut the same.”

Overall, “State Fair” works as a reflection of Harlow’s career trajectory, offering insights into his experiences with fame, his artistic growth, and his deep ties to his roots. The song is a declaration of personal triumph, but it also serves as a critique of the costly personal sacrifices that often accompany success.

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