ALL SONGS

Middle Child - J. Cole




The Experience: I'ma make sure that the real gon' prevail...  Ready to fight for a better world...

Music video: J. Cole sings in front of two crowds: the wealthy and successful, and the dead. His cabin features trophies: the fake rappers he's taken down. He compares current rap culture to mass produced and empty faces for sale. But there's an element of doubt to his otherwise brazen attack - the SUV he rides takes some tough terrain, but seems to be going in circles.

The Meaning of Middle Child: J. Cole takes stock of the bleak place he sees his African-american brothers and sisters at. He starts with his credentials - to the OGs, I'm thankin' you now was watchin' you when you was pavin' the ground I copied your cadence, I mirrored your style I studied the greats, I'm the greatest right now. Then he declares war: this sh-t gon' be different I set my intentions I promise to slap all that hate out your voice. The cause? The real ones been dyin', the fake ones is lit. His people are lost - what good is the bread if my n-ggas is broke? What good is first class if my n-ggas can't sit? That's my next mission, that's why I can't quit. J. Cole sees himself caught between two generations - I'm dead in the middle of two generations I'm little bro and big bro all at once. He's a prophet railing against the lies that hold his people captive: I hope you know money won't erase the pain and money in your palm don't make you real and pistol in your hand don't make you real. The result of those lies?  Too many n-ggas in cycle of jail spending they birthdays inside of a cell, we coming from a long bloodline of trauma, we raised by our mamas, Lord we gotta heal, we hurting our sisters, the babies as well, we killing our brothers, they poisoned the well, distorted self image, we set up to fail.

Ask yourself: Can you redeem a whole generation? What do you change? How?

Album: - 2018

LYRICS:


You good, T-Minus?

N-ggas been countin' me out
I'm countin' my bullets, I'm loadin' my clips
I'm writin' down names, I'm makin' a list
I'm checkin' it twice and I'm gettin' 'em hit
The real ones been dyin', the fake ones is lit
The game is off balance, I'm back on my sh-t
The Bentley is dirty, my sneakers is dirty
But that's how I like it, you all on my d-ck

I'm all in my bag, this hard as it get
I do not snort powder, I might take a sip
I might hit the blunt, but I'm liable to trip
I ain't poppin' no pill, but you do as you wish
I roll with some fiends, I love 'em to death
I got a few mil' but not all of them rich
What good is the bread if my n-ggas is broke?
What good is first class if my n-ggas can't sit?
That's my next mission, that's why I can't quit
Just like LeBron, get my n-ggas more chips
Just put the Rollie right back on my wrist
This watch came from Drizzy, he gave me a gift
Back when the rap game was prayin' I'd diss
They act like two legends cannot coexist
But I'd never beef with a n-gga for nothin'
If I smoke a rapper, it's gon' be legit
It won't be for clout, it won't be for fame
It won't be 'cause my sh-t ain't sellin' the same
It won't be to sell you my latest lil' sneakers
It won't be 'cause some n-gga slid in my lane
Everything grows, it's destined to change
I love you lil' n-ggas, I'm glad that you came
I hope that you scrape every dollar you can
I hope you know money won't erase the pain
To the OGs, I'm thankin' you now
Was watchin' you when you was pavin' the ground
I copied your cadence, I mirrored your style
I studied the greats, I'm the greatest right now
F-ck if you feel me, you ain't got a choice
Now I ain't do no promo, still made all that noise
This sh-t gon' be different, I set my intentions
I promise to slap all that hate out your voice

N-ggas been countin' me out
I'm countin' my bullets, I'm loadin' my clips
I'm writin' down names, I'm makin' a list
I'm checkin' it twice and I'm gettin' 'em hit
The real ones been dyin', the fake ones is lit
The game is off balance, I'm back on my sh-t
The Bentley is dirty, my sneakers is dirty
But that's how I like it, you all on my d-ck

I just poured somethin' in my cup
I've been wantin' somethin' I can feel
Promise I am never lettin' up
Money in your palm don't make you real
Foot is on they neck, I got 'em stuck
I'ma give 'em somethin' they can feel
If it ain't 'bout the squad, don't give a f-ck
Pistol in your hand don't make you real

I'm dead in the middle of two generations
I'm little bro and big bro all at once
Just left the lab with young 21 Savage
I'm 'bout to go and meet Jigga for lunch
Had a long talk with the young n-gga Kodak
Reminded me of young niggas from 'Ville
Straight out the projects, no fakin', just honest
I wish that he had more guidance, for real
Too many n-ggas in cycle of jail
Spending they birthdays inside of a cell
We coming from a long bloodline of trauma
We raised by our mamas, Lord we gotta heal
We hurting our sisters, the babies as well
We killing our brothers, they poisoned the well
Distorted self image, we set up to fail
I'ma make sure that the real gon' prevail, n-gga

I just poured somethin' in my cup
I've been wantin' somethin' I can feel
Promise I am never lettin' up
Money in your palm don't make you real
Foot is on they neck, I got 'em stuck
I'ma give 'em somethin' they can feel
If it ain't 'bout the squad, don't give a f-ck
Pistol in your hand don't make you real

Money in your palm don't make you real
Pistol in your hand don't make you real
Money in your palm don't make you real


review by Benjamin O'Loughlin

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