J.Cole’s new Album dropped last night and of course is trending in the Hip Hop world. J.Cole first hinted to the possible release on Monday April 16, 2018 when he made a post on Instagram inviting any and everyone to a listening party in New York followed up by a tweet confirming the release date. Cole, always being a transparent and humble artist opened the event up to any and everyone with the only restrictions being no phones, cameras, or bags. Most artists of his caliber would have had an invite only with top execs and celebs from the music industry but that is why we love J.Cole, he never puts himself above the music. Two days later he follows up with a post showing the album cover and track list. The artwork featured on this album seems to be an expression of the current state of America’s hidden drug problem amongst adolescents. There are children on the cover engaging is drug use to include sniffing cocaine, drink lean, popping pills, and smoking grass. Cole is pictured as a king sheltering the children as they turn into skeletons. The most I can gather from the artwork is that Cole is in some way concerned with the new trend of drug use and how teenage rappers have glorified it, but that’s just my opinion.
Speaking of teenage rappers, Cole has a song titled, “1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”),” where he addresses a young rapper (possibly Lil Pump) he heard dissed him. J.Cole takes this rapper to school, literally. Cole lyrically delivers a lecture to this rapper. A well needed lecture to a lot of the young trend riders in Hip Hop. Cole paints a big picture, he tells the rapper to never quite touring telling him “….cuz that’s the way we eating in this rap game..” Even though Cole isn’t impressed by the rappers music he warns him to start rapping about more than trends or he’ll just end up on Love and Hip Hop in 5 years, which is usually where most rappers go when their career is over.
I honestly don’t consider the track a diss track but more of a warning track, like a big brother schooling his naïve little brother who thinks he knows everything. Honestly it sounds like Cole feels sorry for the rapper. It’s very retrospective to see Cole now as a veteran in Hip Hop because for so long he’s been looked as a Jay-Z protégé and compared to his mentor Nas. I do hope this track serves as forewarning to the new generation of rappers of how to gain longevity in their careers while also securing a future. Check his album out here.KOD