WRITTEN BY: Julien Carroll
It’s been a slow week for music, but that all changed when J. Cole dropped his single “Middle Child”.
Fans of J. Cole will be excited for his new solo project that seems to boast messages seen throughout hip hop in recent years. Themes such as drugs, violence, flaunting money, and taking care of his friends.
At first listen people might think that these themes are all the song is about, but real Cole fans will know that this song is a commentary on the state of rap music today.
From the cadence of his rap, to the beat used. Every single part of the song reflects artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Smoke Purrp, Lil Yachty, and Juice Wrld. It reflects the sound of the new generation, with a hook that goes, “I just poured somethin’ in my cup. I’ve been waitin’ somthin’ I can feel.” Referencing back to his 2018 album KOD, the themes of drug and alcohol abuse sprout up all over the song.
However, he doesn’t only focus on the new generation, but the old. Cole in a sense feels like he’s sandwiched between two generations sounds. The Kanye’s and Jay-Z’s of the day are above him and play mentor to his success, while the newer generation, Cole feels is losing touch with his music that comes off more reflective.
As the self-referenced, “Middle Child”, we see this relationship play out through the rest of the song, understanding his place in the ever-changing rap game.
Take a listen to Middle Child and tell us what you think. Is J. Cole still relevant in today’s changing music scene? Or is he getting played out.