About an hour before you asked me about J. Cole's latest single False Prophets I texted my homegirl who sent me the video "Who do you think he's talking about?" It's safe to say its the question of the day (at least in our circles). But before we get to the burning question, some other thoughts about the song in general. The track and the video go hand & hand - by that I mean it feels very 90s in all the right ways. It's a subtle laid back track that stays out of the way of J. Cole's always on point flow. Obviously that was done intentionally considering the lyrics that have us all asking the same question. Speaking of those lyrics, it's a great marketing move to drop this track right before the release of his album (which I had no clue was coming next week until...well until I did my Googles on this track). Way to run a play from 50's playbook, it worked everyone is talking about J. Cole.
A: So, as soon as I listened to the song and saw the discussion that was beginning to take place...I said this is a great conversation for me and bro. J. Cole has done it again, leaving our minds in chaos lol. The track is fire! I love the 90s feel to it. It goes so hard that you have no choice to bop your head and listen to the lyrics. I initially listened to just the audio track before watching the video. After watching the video, I was hhhmmm perplexed maybe? "Who is J. Cole talking about?" Just the day before the video dropped, my cousin hit me up "J Cole. just about to drop an album with out anyone hearing a song eh?"....my reply "today??" not knowing that the very next day he would shake the world with this dope single!
A Diss or Nah?
K: Now on to the question of the day (after an extensive 5 mins of research on the InternetS), I think he's talking to himself. Why? The internets top suspects at this point are Kanye and Drake. I think mainly because they're the only 2 rappers worthy of or in position to be the subject of a J. Cole "diss" (And Kendrick is brother from another mother). However, I don't see him dissing Drake - the line about not writing your own raps is old news at this point. We all collectively told Meek "who cares???!!!" when he tried to use that info. previously against Drake (for the record Drake washed Meek and it wasn't even close). Kanye never hid the fact that he uses ghostwriters and a collective of musicians to create great music. Also, being upset at Kanye for essentially "being Kanye" at this point is wack. Is anyone surprised by anything Kanye says or does anymore? I doubt J. Cole all of sudden saw something in Ye he hasn't seen I don't know the last DECADE. While "I miss the old Kanye" has been a constant argument to the point where Ye himself addressed it I think we all agree Life of Pablo was amazing (RIP Pablo Tour).
Then there's the 2:17 mark of the video where he's rapping staring at a picture of....himself. Sometimes the answers we're looking for are staring us right in our face.
Sis, what do you think? Am I crazy? Is he definitely going at another rapper? If so, who's your top suspect!? And what do you think about the song/video in general?
A: Now really, who is J Cole talking about? I think he takes a couple shots at Kanye but ultimately, I believe the song is a reflection of self. I think for the track to be a diss at Drake is a reach. The song gives vibes of someone that has fallen off and we know that's definitely not Drake's reality. Kanye on the other hand? I think we can agree that he's sitting on a different pot nowadays. And I'm not sure if it's a diss, it's almost a wake up call in music form. "When he tell us he a genius but it's clearer lately, It's been hard for him to look into the mirror lately" What other artist has consistently called themselves a genius? I think J. Cole is expressing his disappointments about his once hero. And trying to make sense of it throughout the track by looking in the mirror at his own flaws and moments of his life.
How We Feel
A: Verse 3 was for the fans, in my opinion. If you listen carefully to the lyrics, it's almost like he's pouring his heart out to us. We've watched this artist grow and achieve so much. And I think it's safe to say that with success, sometimes drama tends to follow in some shape or form. Now that J. Cole has reached a new sort of height, he can see all of these "false prophets". He's making sure that he doesn't become one of them but "Somebody shoulda told me it would be like this, be like this, be like this".
As I was researching this song, did you know he dropped a 40 min documentary called "Eyez"? *goes to Google*
K: I think you’re onto something! (I’m easily influenced clearly). After giving it a few more spins I think you’re right. Verse 3 is 100% self reflection. The first two verses could be about Ye and Wale. Considering Wale dropped Groundhog Day a couple days later it’s either definitely about him or his spirit was convicted because he’s guilty of everything Cole spoke about. At the end of the day I’m just happy to have a new project from one of the best in the game arriving soon!
See you on the block!