J. Cole Calls Out Rappers For Faking Their Streaming Numbers On A Savage Verse
In a year that J. Cole dominated, he’s not quite done. If KOD, its incredible videos, and a plethora of high-powered guest verses were not enough to set the table, Cole refuses to let 2018 end without at least one more stunner. It comes courtesy of the opening song from 21 Savage’s i am > i was album, “a lot.” The song, especially the verse, lives up to its title.
Cole, who many believe was snubbed by this month’s Grammy nominations, speaks his mind and minces no words. On the third verse, the KOD MC rightfully asserts himself as one of the industry’s brightest stars, questioning whether his peers are in it for the money, the fame or true love of Hip-Hop.
“Question, how many faking they streams? (A lot) / Getting they plays from machines (A lot) / I can see behind the smoke and mirrors / Ni**as ain’t really big as they seem (Hmm) / I never say anything (Nah), everybody got they thing (True) / Some ni**as make millions, other ni**as make memes (Hmm) / I’m on a money routine,” begins Cole. The MC/producer who has checked his peers over transgressions before highlights inflated numbers bought by hiring streaming devices. It is unclear who Cole may be speaking to, if anyone. He briefly held a streaming record this year with KOD, a title later held by Drake’s Scorpion. Another artist, Travis Scott, has been front-and-center in 2018’s wars over chart position and streams between Nicki Minaj, the incarcerated Tekashi 6ix9ine, and others.
Either way, Cole continues to the bounce of the beat. “I don’t want smoke, I want cream / I don’t want no more comparisons / This is a marathon and I’m aware I been playing it back from a lack of promotions / I was never one for the bragging and boasting / I guess I was hoping the music would speak for itself / But the people want everything else / Okay, no problem / I’ll show up on everyone album / You know what the outcome will be I’m batting a thousand / It’s got to the point that these rappers don’t even like rappin’ with me / F*ck it ’cause my ni**a 21 Savage just hit me / And told me he sent me a spot on a new record he got / He call it ‘a lot,’ I open my book and I jot.”
Finally, Cole finds time to say a few prayers. Given the possibility of a life sentence for racketeering and more, 6ix9ine is the subject of his first reflection. Thereafter, he sends a shout out to Philadelphia 76ers fallen star, Markelle Fultz, whose shoulder problems have prevented him from living up to the hype. In the end, Dennis Smith Jr., of the Dallas Mavericks gets a shot out as well.
“Pray for Tekashi, they want him to rot / I’m picturing him inside a cell on a cot / Flectin’ on how he made it to the top / Wondering if it was worth it or not / I pray for Markelle cause they f*cked up his shot / Just want you to know that you got it my ni**a / Though I never met you / I know that you special and that the Lord blessed you / Don’t doubt it my ni**a / Dennis Smith Jr., stay solid my ni**a / I’m on a tangent, not how I planned it / I had some fans that hopped and abandoned ship / When they thought that I wasn’t gon pan out.”
21 Savage’s i am > i was also features ScHoolboy Q, Donald Glover, and Project Pat, among others.