Talon Marks

J. Cole is back again with new hit “Middle Child”

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J. Cole is back again with new hit “Middle Child”

J. Cole headlines night one of Philadelphia's Made In America Music Festival 2017.

J. Cole headlines night one of Philadelphia's Made In America Music Festival 2017.

TM Dan Garcia/Creative Commons

J. Cole headlines night one of Philadelphia's Made In America Music Festival 2017.

TM Dan Garcia/Creative Commons

TM Dan Garcia/Creative Commons

J. Cole headlines night one of Philadelphia's Made In America Music Festival 2017.

Guadalupe Zaragoza, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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With the release of his song “Middle Child” on Jan. 23, J. Cole has definitely put the rap game on notice, as well as left fans asking for more.

The song was produced by Cole and T-Minus who worked together last year on “Kevin’s Heart” and 6LACK’s and Cole’s “Pretty Little Fears.”

It continues to be unclear whether or not it’s attached to a specific project.

As for the title, Cole is not actually a “middle child,” instead he’s using it as a metaphor for his position in rap music.

He begins the track with an interpolation of Have Gilespie’s 1934 Christmas classic, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” “I’m writin’ down names, I’m making a list, I’m checkin it twice and I’m getting ’em hit.”

On the first verse, Cole seems to contrast his 2018 position on drugs from his last album, KOD, which may stand for Kids On Drugs.

The North Carolina MC rapper previously commented on the effects of drugs such as pills and lean in hip-hop with his album cover. Examples included “1985” and the “ATM” music video.

But, Cole does in fact mentions his dedication in elevating those around him rather than just amassing wealth for himself. “I got a few mil’ but not all of them rich. What good is the bread if my homies is broke? What good is first class if my homies can’t sit?”

He goes on to mention NBA player LeBron James as a metaphor of how he teamed up in 2010 with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in order to win his first NBA title.

Several issues were discussed in his verses, one of them mentioning his rap peer, Drake, and how the music industry seeks to pit rappers against each other.

But, what was most talked about by many was that there was speculation of several lines aimed at Kanye West, who was mired in a beef with Drake in 2018.

“It won’t be for clout, It won’t be for fame, It won’t be to sell you my latest lil’ sneakers. It won’t be ’cause some (one) slid in my lane.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Cole has made a reference to Kanye since he has also appeared to call him out on his 2016’s “False Prophets.”

However, Cole is know for sharing his thoughts about the new school of hip-hop, and so as we further reach the end of the song, he sends a valuable message to rap’s young generation.

“Everything grows, it’s destined to change. I hope that you scrape every dollar you can. I hope you know money won’t erase the pain.”

On “Middle Child,” Cole airs out his positive feelings and negative thoughts towards the industry, and fans are loving it so far.

Cole teased the track on Twitter a few days ahead of its release, and since then, it has shot up the song charts on Genius, surpassing Ariana Grande’s latest hit “7 Rings.”

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
J. Cole is back again with new hit “Middle Child”