"Churchill Downs" is a rapfest where Jack Harlow and Drake each spit a single verse. Harlow mainly drops rhymes about his come-up while Drake addresses his rivals and the pitfalls of fame. The "What's Poppin
" rapper recorded the track for his Come Home The Kids Miss You
The song title comes from Drake's concluding three lines where he combines flexing about his wealth with a shout-out to Harlow.
Kentucky derby races, my presence in the spot is so abrasive
Box at the Churchill Downs, that's motivation, yeah
And shorty like, "You know that boy Jack is goin' places"
Churchill Downs is a famous race horse track near Jack Harlow's home city of Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby, the biggest annual horse race in the US, has been held there since 1875. Harlow and Drake were both seen in a box at the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2022, the day after Harlow dropped Come Home the Kids Miss You.
Harlow responded to Drake's shout-out with one of his own.
Before I met Drizzy I knew he and I would get along
But it's really hard to crack jokes when you really want advice
The song is the first time Harlow and Drake worked together. They recorded "Churchill Downs" during a vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Harlow opted for an authentic rap cut rather than a melodic pop track with a chorus.
"I thought that restraint would be refreshing. Just us showing our love for the craft," Harlow told The New York Times
Harlow was devastated when "Churchill Downs" leaked a few weeks before the release of Come Home the Kids Miss You. Despite coming up with what Harlow considered one of his best verses, Drake's was both better and longer, so the Louisville rapper went back into the studio and added more bars.
Asked on The Breakfast Club if he felt disrespected by Drake turning in a guest verse that outdid his, Harlow said to the contrary, it came from a place of respect. "I don't know how I could ever feel disrespected because what are you supposed to tell somebody?," he told host Charlamagne Tha God. "Some of his bars meant so much to me that I could tell he was, like, tipping his hat to me in a way that made me feel great."
Drake's go-to producer, Boi-1da, supplied the flute-led beat along with regular Harlow collaborator Angel Lopez, plus Federico Vindver, Ryan Bakalarczyk, TT Audi, and Ace G.
Classically trained Canadian multi-instrumentalist Myriam Eydo played the harp and sang the backing vocals.
In the Ace Pro-directed video, a well-dressed Jack Harlow and Drake rap their rhymes at the 2022 Kentucky Derby as their horses race across the finish line. Baka Not Nice, Boi1-da, Bryson Tiller, DJ Drama, Druski, Hit-Boy and Taylor Rooks all have cameos, and Harlow's mother, Maggie, even makes an appearance when Drake raps to her.