J. Cole Claps Back At All The Haters Who Counted Him Out

Moments ago, J. Cole released his latest single “Middle Child.” Produced by Toronto’s T-Minus (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Ludacris, Lil Wayne), the record marks the Dreamville leader’s first song of 2019. He released his fifth solo studio album, KOD, less than one year ago. Cole also spent some time blessing other artist’s work, providing bars on his act J.I.D’s “Off Deez,” Jay Rock’s “OSOM” and 21 Savage’s “a lot,” among others.

Jermaine has also recently been teasing Revenge Of The Dreamers III, the latest installment of his label’s compilation series. On January 16, Cole tweeted, “The Revengers sessions are done.” The last volume, Revenge of the Dreamers II, released in December of 2015. All of J. Cole’s previous Instagram posts before the one he used to tease “Middle Child” have been mysteriously erased. Moments leading up into his song’s release, the social media-savvy MC/producer posted a series of cryptic pop culture photographs.

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Many speculated that the song would be a jab to a specific peer after Cole shared the lyrics that eventually made the top of the song: “Ni**as been countin’ me out,  I’m countin’ my bullets / I’m loadin’ my clips / I’m writin’ down names, I’m makin’ a list / I’m checkin’ it twice, and I’m gettin’ ’em hit.” In the song, that series of bars continues, “The real ones been dyin’, the fake ones is lit / The game is off balance, I’m back on my sh*t.”

A diss song appears not to what this is. Instead, “Middle Child” refers to Cole’s self-proclaimed place in the game. He sits between the O.G.’s like early mentor JAY-Z and a wise elder to artists such as 21 Savage and Kodak Black.

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While he talks back to critics, the superstar does not name names. Instead, the song also embraces Drake, who Cole describes with reverie. “Just put the Rolly’ back on my wrist / This watch came from Drizzy; he gave me a gift,” referring back to the early days. “They act like two legends cannot co-exist / But I never beef with a ni**a for nothin’, if I smoke a rapper, it’s gon’ be legit / It won’t be for clout, it won’t be for fame / It won’t be ’cause my sh*t is not selling the same / It won’t be to sell my latest sneakers, it won’t be ’cause some ni**a slid in my lane.” The commentary appears to address a lot of Rap’s in-fighting and its motives, as Cole sees them.

Cole sings on the song about “givin’ ’em something they can feel,” which talks about uplifting those around the MC. He references dirty sneakers, Bentley, and many criticizing moves, while he feels he is a Rap industry little brother and big brother at the same time. Cole wants all who hear the song to know that neither guns nor money make you “real” in this age. Instead, he vows to cast a light on those who he believes in.

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Previously, T-Minus provided the beat for Cole’s KOD video single “Kevin’s Heart.”