What's Poppin

Album: Sweet Action (2020)
Charted: 25 2

Songfacts®:

  • The term "what's poppin" is a greeting meaning "what's going on?" This song serves as an introduction to Jack Harlow. The Louisville, Kentucky rapper explained to Genius that the title is a phrase that he uses a lot.

    "I've been really working on not getting too dense with my writing and just writing what comes to me right away," he said. "I say that greeting a lot when I run into people, when I'm on the phone. What's popping?"
  • JetsonMade, the primary producer of DaBaby's "Suge" and "Bop," came up with the piano-driven instrumentation along with Pooh Beatz. Harlow recalled: "As soon as they played the beat, it was just this agreement amongst all of us. Like, you gotta snap on this, you can't be no melodic, fun rap. Just really rap. So that was the focus, and I just went in."

    The rhymes Harlow came up with introduce him as a dude with "swag" who "moves like a don" and knows a lot of women.
  • Jetsonmade told Billboard that when he got together with Harlow, they began by working on a pack of demos where Harlow was singing. "Pooh came in with the beat and Jack was like, 'Hold on, I want to rap,'" he recalled. "I told him, 'Bro, pop your s--t and rap, for real. He went into the booth and that's how it came out."
  • Cole Bennett directed the video. He is the mastermind behind many of Juice WRLD's visuals and has also worked with Eminem ("Godzilla") and Lil Tecca ("Ransom").
  • The official remix features a new verse from Harlow and contributions from DaBaby, Tory Lanez and Lil Wayne. The Kentucky rapper dropped the new version on June 24, 2020.

    Jack Harlow sets the tempo with basketball references before DaBaby picks up the baton with boasts about his sexual prowess and his Hot 100 #1 single "Rockstar." Lanez continues the song's theme then Weezy closes out the track with a reference to former US President Barack Obama.

    For both Jack Harlow & DaBaby, this was their first collaboration with any of the other artists. Tory Lanez had worked with Lil Wayne on three previous occasions.
  • During an interview with LA radio station Power 106, Harlow was asked why he decided to keep Lanez on the remix after reports of the Canadian rapper allegedly shooting Megan Thee Stallion began breaking soon after its release.

    "I don't think I'm God," he replied. "I don't have no room to judge anybody. I wasn't there when this and that happened, I don't know anything. Who am I to judge?

    For me it's music, and there's a certain integrity you have to keep as an artist," Harlow added. "There's three sides to every story. I don't think it's my place to start judging."

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