Influenced by blues, jazz, R&B, gospel, and hip hop and instructed by his father A.Z. Jefferson, Jr., Harlan began performing at the age of 10. By the time he was in junior high school and active in bands, he became known locally as the “National Anthem Player,” performing at college, semi- and pro-ball games from Rockford and Chicago up to Milwaukee, Wis., including suburban areas.
A rapper/dj-turned-saxophonist, his reputation came full circle in 2006 with the release of the single “The Chicago Bears Anthem.” Written by Swade, Harlan Jefferson executive produced and promoted the ultra modern rap-with-class that was played in Chicago at one of the Bears games. The track was quickly picked up by DJs, who played it in the streets, in clubs, on the Internet, and on television stations and music and sports radio stations in Rockford, Chicago, and Indiana.