Harry Mack is a popular freestyle rapper, and musician.
He has more than 2.4 million subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel.
Harry Mack was born on 18 February 1990 in Portland, Oregon, United States; he grew up in Portland.
He has an elder sister; she is three years elder to him.
Since a young age, Harry has been in love with music; as a baby, he used to beat rhythms on the tray in his highchair, and he would jiggle when his family played music; he wanted to grow up to become a musician.
Violin & hip hop-
Harry’s father was a fan of traditional blues, and he used to play him the cassettes of traditional blues like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Raw Blues; and these became his favourites; at the time, he was 3.
At 5, his parents enrolled him into a music class where he used to clap rhythms.
At 7, his parents observed his passion for music, and suggested he play an instrument; so, he started learning violin.
Harry’s sister introduced him to hip hop as she introduced him to pop stations, Z100, and Jammin’ 95.5; at the time, he was in first grade, and started listening to mainstream hip hop.
He grew up listening to the music of Ja Rule, Ashanti, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, JAY-Z, and Nas.
Drums, freestyling & becoming popular-
Even though Harry played violin from the age 7 to 15, he always wanted to be a drummer; so, in his fifth grade, he implored his parents for a drum set, and his parents bought him a used drum set for $200.
He loved playing the drums; in high school, he stopped playing violin to focus on the drums.
At 12, in sixth grade, Harry also started writing rhymes and freestyle rapping.
At that time, he used to freestyle at his school along with his friend, Brady B.
As at the time, Harry didn’t have cable at his home, so he used to visit Brady’s house to watch Freestyle Friday, Rap City, and music channels: VH1, and MTV; at the time, Jin was his freestyle idol.
After watching Rap City, he observed that unlike a rock show which requires sets, drummers, pyrotechnics, etc., rappers just need improvisation, use of brain and mouth; and this attracted him towards rapping.
At 12, Harry stumbled upon ‘Blazing Arrow’ by Gift of Gab (Timothy Jerome Parker) and thanks to his unconventional rapping, he became his fan.
At 12, he and Brady joined Ethos Music Center for music lessons; here, he was influenced by his teacher, DJ Apostle, who mentored him.
In his seventh grade, he got destroyed by Milk, a sixth grader, in a rap battle.
All through middle school and high school, Harry, along with his friends formed a group, and he used to rap on the record, and his friends used to do beats, and rap.
At the time, they used to write records; they started doing independent rap hustling in Portland by renting venues and throwing shows; these made them popular in high school.
Practising, and studying the greats-
At 12, Harry freestyled for the first time, and it was nothing to write home about; but thanks to his constant practice, and studying great freestylers like Super Nat, etc. he became proficient.
As playing drums is very rhythmic, this rhythm helped him in freestyling; also playing violin helped his musicality.
After completing schooling, in 2008, Harry moved to Los Angeles, California to attend USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, California for Jazz Studies to learn drumming; here, he received a scholarship.
He had been playing jazz gigs since 14 in Portland; later, for many years he gigged as a jazz drummer in bars, restaurants, venues, and shows of Los Angeles.
Harry used to watch the videos and listen to the mixtapes of Kendrick Lamar, a rapper.
In addition to playing a lot of drums for his jazz degree, he used to freestyle rap every night.
While in college, he used to perform with his college band; he also freestyled at parties.
In 2012, Harry graduated college; at that time, he was doing jazz gigs, restaurant bar gigs, and teaching drum lessons, but the gigs were tough grind and weren’t financially feasible.
At the time, he wasn’t confident of starting a career in freestyling; so, he started drumming.
A life-changing viral video-
Even though Harry rapped for many years, he wasn’t confident enough to film himself and share on the internet.
While studying at the jazz school, he befriended Jacob Mann, who went on to become a jazz piano player, and composer; Jacob knew Harry’s freestyling talent from college.
At the end of 2016, Jacob was launching a jazz record, and he wanted to promote the record in a creative way; so, he approached him to freestyle the song.
So, Harry got into a car, and started freestyling on the changing scenery while driving down Sunset Boulevard; Jacob recorded this on his phone and uploaded onto his YouTube channel.
On 18 December 2016, Jacob published the video titled ‘Harry Mack – “Bounce House” Car Freestyle’ onto his channel.
A week later, Harry learnt that his song had become viral; his song got upvoted to number one on r/videos (subreddit for videos) and received a 100K views overnight.
Even though this video was viral for a short period of time, it boosted his confidence, and he realised that there is a huge online audience for raps.
His YouTube channel-
Up until then, even though Harry was passionate about freestyling and rapping, he was stuck in jazz; as he graduated in jazz, he believed that he should make a career in it.
But thanks to the success of his freestyle video, he decided to shift to make a career in freestyling.
At that time, as Harry wasn’t social media savvy, he picked Jacob’s brain, and he suggested he start his own YouTube channel and start publishing videos onto it.
So, from December 2016, he started publishing videos onto his eponymous YouTube channel; it was originally started on 14 May 2011.
Becoming a successful YouTuber-
Initially, Harry set himself a goal of publishing a video every week to hold himself accountable and grow his YouTube channel.
At that time, he did a few videos in his room freestyling with random word generators; he used to link these videos with the viral video and get around a thousand views on each of them.
Harry realised that his videos weren’t performing well, as he wasn’t stepping out of his comfort zone while freestyling.
So, he stepped outside his house, and freestyled in a nearby liquor store; and this video got decent views of 10K.
In February 2017, Harry decided to go to the vibrant Venice Beach, and freestyle.
So, he freestyled on the Venice Boardwalk, and rapped about the passers-by; on 1 March 2017, he published the video, ‘Harry Mack – Venice Beach Freestyle (Part 1)’.
This video was a huge success; on the first day, it received 30K views, later, it got reposted on the Viral Thread Facebook page, and received 14 million views over a couple of weeks and got reposted at many places.
Thanks to this success, Harry got invited by J-Kruz to come on radio, got to rap for Joey Bada$$, and eventually, Kendrick Lamar, and got on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Freestyling on the Venice Beach inspired him to freestyle on the streets, and he started doing this by launching the ‘Guerrilla Bars’ series, where he visits the popular spots in Los Angeles with a Bluetooth speaker and freestyles to the strangers.
Harry also started doing ‘Omegle Bars;’ both the Guerrilla Bars and Omegle Bars have been very successful.
As of May 2023, he has 2.49M subscribers on his eponymous YouTube channel, 3.6M followers on his Facebook page, and 769K followers on Instagram.
Harry earns from a variety of sources: advertisements on his YouTube videos, merchandise, sponsorships, his tours, Facebook videos, doing virtual performances for companies, and he also accepts donations on Patreon.
He also has a website; and as of May 2023, has 352K subscribers on his second YouTube channel, ‘Harry Mack Clips.’
Harry’s favourite rappers are Juice WRLD, Nas, Black Thought, Jimmy Fallon, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson, and MF DOOM; he is a fan of The Roots band.
He performed with Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Ellen DeGeneres, Complex Music, and RedBull Music.
Currently, Harry lives in Los Angeles, California.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Harry Mack?
Share with me in the comment section below.
Table of Contents
Please Support This Site
It takes a lot of effort to research and produce content. If you are happy with my work, please support me by donating.