J. Cole is amazing.
In a documentary revolving around his newest album, it was said by an African American student that “he is our voice.” If one listens closely to his music, rather than just the mainstream chorus, the deeper meaning is clearly portrayed. It can be argued that J.Cole is a lyrical god. All of his songs are a story with a meaning.
Love Yourz (Forest Hills Drive 2014)
This one doesn’t take much effort to understand. Essentially, it’s saying to be grateful and appreciative of the life you live. Despite of poverty or riches, everyone has the opportunity to climb up the social ladder. It’s ultimately up to the individual what pathway they chose to pursue. A lot of people believe that money is the key to happiness, but in reality what’s money’s worth if you aren’t surrounded by those you love?
I had to explain this song to my mom about a week ago since it was on replay. She thought it was an inappropriate song, since the surface level is strictly sexual. But what J.Cole says before those few verses that are actually heard uncovers the voice for racial injustice. Basically, J.Cole is trying to help a girl in his life open up her eyes to the world problems. He speaks of how minorities are portrayed in society through media. The problem is, she lets these views blind her of what she is truly capable of. She feels as if she is only good for one thing and won’t be able to escape the world she comes from.
Lost Ones (Cole World: The Sideline Story 2011)
Abortion is such a controversial issue and I find it fascinating how J. Cole put this message down, from both sides. From the father’s point of view, he speaks of how they’re too young to support a baby and incapability to provide him or her with everything they will. He makes it clear that he’s hurting as well but believes that this is the best decision to make. Following this, the girl replies with anger and rage asking the guy how he has the nerve to try to convince her to have an abortion. Mentioning how he only used her because now that she’s pregnant he is repeating his own father’s mistakes. The end of the song makes them question whether or not they want to destroy their seed.
Apparently (Forest Hills Drive 2014)
This song is that song that makes you feel at top of the world. Whether you’re down or or up, it’s just perfect. J. Cole tells the story of his upbringing and how far he’s come with just maintaining an optimistic attitude. He also mentions how we must remember that we didn’t make it on our own; we owe it to those who have always supported us. In this song, he apologizes to his mother for not being grateful for what she did for him.
Crooked Smile (Born Sinner 2013)
A simple reminder to love yourself despite your flaws. Not to pay attention to societal views because you are God’s own beautiful creation. True beauty is within and can’t be defined by the efforts made to impress society, people who don’t even matter. In the end, looks aren’t going to get you far, who you are will. This song is certainly one that you should listen to when you’re feeling unappreciated or down because this is a good song to help you reflect on yourself.
No Role Modelz (Forest Hills Drive 2014)
No doubt one of his most mainstream songs. I believe this song is the reason to why he’s been rising dramatically in the music industry. It’s about finding that real love we all desire but being distracted by what society expects. Also, to not be surprised when the people you love do you wrong and just continue standing tall regardless of downfall.
G.O.M.D. (Forest Hills 2014)
I never really took the time to listen to this song until recently and I realized how much meaning it has to J.Cole and how much he is releasing through it. He’s talking to “Hollywod Cole” through the head of Jermaine. It serves as a reminder to himself about his roots and to not let fame change him. Especially not to hurt the ones who have been there for him since the start. Another important concept that is brought forth is racial stereotypes and how misleading they are towards what a person is truly capable of.
Hello (Forest Hills 2014)
Your emotions will be truly confused while listening to this song. The message itself is sad, but the beat doesn’t make you super sad (a little bit happy and energetic). Watching someone you love doing good without you is definitely one of the most painful views. But sometimes the saying “if you love someone let them go” must be applied.
Rich (Born Sinner 2013)
We all dream of succeeding in life and economic status has a lot to do with that. J.Cole discusses how difficult it is to climb up the social ladder. He expresses hate for those who were just given the life they live and didn’t work hard to get where they are. This demonstrates the injustice in the system and how it affects specifically minorities.
This song is a single that clearly addresses the government of today. Specifically, he discusses the issue of police brutality. and it is a tribute to victims of this brutality due to racial profiling. In a live performance, he goes further into the topic by calling out the decisions that have been made. There really isn’t a way to describe this cry for social justice. So I leave you with this: “So elated we celebrated like Obama waited until his last day in office to tell the nation brothers is getting their reparations, hey… A man can dream, can’t he? No disrespect in terms of change, I haven’t seen any, maybe he had good intentions but was stifled by the system and was sad to learn he actually couldn’t bring any. That’s what I get for thinking. This world is fair, they let a brother steer the ship and never told ’em that the ship was sinking.”
I find it upsetting that due to stereotypes, people have the nerve to call his music “garbage” without even listening to it. I don’t know about you, but I think Jermaine expresses the issues of today better than any repetitive beats in a techno song.