Has J. Cole single handedly made us consider choosing a side?
The Fayetteville, North Carolina (by way of Frankfurt, West Germany) native has once again conquered and divided a clear picture of what some call real Hip-Hop vs. Mumble rap. Not all are in agreement with the latest verbal aims of J. Cole. While the majority say “thank you for addressing the issue”. The 6’2 lyrical mad scientist has openly, yet respectfully discussed how he feels about being a black rapper vs. being a white rapper (Eminem) in past times with no apologies. He has also expressed how it felt to “Let Nas Down”, which was the 15th track on Cole’s “Born Sinner” released in 2013. Since the release of that body of work, J Cole had success with the release of his 3rd album “Forest Hills Drive” (in 2014) which clearly showed his mental growth by revisiting where he came from. “Forest Hills Drive” also went #1 on Billboard’s top 200, making it Cole’s third #1 album consecutively. Did J Cole take the advise NAS gave him to step up to the hype placed on him when the world first heard him on Jay-Z’s “The Blue Print 3 album? After all, the name of the track he appeared on was ironically titled “A Star is Born”. If so, does that remove him off of the list of hypocrisy when he aims his verbal guns at mumble rappers on (“Everybody Dies)” and Kanye West & Wale’s (“False Prophets”)? Let’s consider his verse on Jay-Z’s “A Star is Born”
[Verse Four: J. Cole]
“And could I be a star?
Does fame in this game have to change who you are?
Or could I be the same one who came from a far away life
Just to make it in this broadway lights
Now I’m shinin in the broad, day-light – go figure
A slow transition from a lil’ broke nigga from the ‘Ville
Got a deal, a real life saver
Dreams of being behind the wheel like, Jada
I chill now, cop a lil’ ice later
Cole, you got a glow like a lil’ Light Saber
So, clap for him, then applaud Hov
He gave ’em a platform
Flow so sick thought he wrote the rap for him – no sir
The flow cold as a shoulder of a gold diggin hoes
When a broke nigga ‘proaches
Told ya I’m focused man, I’ll let you muh’fuckers soak it in
Clap for him”
Perhaps the question is not “Has J Cole single handedly made us consider choosing a side?” but rather “Is J Cole showing the side he is on?”
Perhaps it is us as the listeners, who have made J Cole consider who he is to the hip-hop community.
J Cole’s fourth album “4 Your Eyez Only” is available to the world now, (released Dec. 9th 2016). The album has quickly risen to yet another Billboard #1 along with the project peaking as the 3rd largest album debut of 2016 with 492,000 units the 1st week. History now knows “4 Your Eyez Only” as Cole’s 4th album to peak at #1. The body of work has become a conversation starter for college students to the streets. It is obvious that the world seems to have chosen the side of J Cole. Let’s all “Clap for em”