Simply Ari: Simply Me
The Inspired Thoughts of a Ready Writer
"My tongue is the pen of the Ready Writer"
Middle children have a particular knack for being slow to speak, quick to listen, patient and uncannily observant. As a middle child myself, I was intrigued by the title of J Cole’s new track. I thought, “Finally, a song from our perspective.” He surpassed what I thought a song like this had the potential to sound like.
The true mark of artistry is when you are able to be an observer of your craft and come back with a message that is spot on. With his new single, “Middle Child” J. Cole like many times before, didn’t miss a beat. His clever lyrics address the climate, and the state of the music industry as it stands now and reflects his hope to bring back something that he feels is missing.
I believe that what fans appreciate so much about Cole’s music is the authenticity of his lyrics, his respect for the artists that came before him, his innate desire to not just say anything, but to say something with meaning and substance, and his willingness to share insights with those who are coming up behind him. What I believe they respect the most is that he leads with humility and is a master of his own lane.
Some of the most poignantly written rhymes in this song are found in the refrain:
“The real ones been dyin', the fake ones is lit. The game is off balance, I’m back on my sh#%.”
I am of the opinion that every real artist feels this way at some point, some are just more consistent with their efforts whether they are in the spotlight or standing just outside the glow of it. It is an inner grit to do more not for the sake of relevancy, but for the sake of relatability.
Cole comes back in verse one making what seems to be a declaration, regarding his personal standard for music and making his intentions clear to his listeners and haters alike:
“Back when the rap game was prayin’ I’d diss, they act like two legends cannot coexist. But I’d never beef with a n---- 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#% ain’t sellin’ the same. It won’t be to sell you my latest lil’ sneakers. It won’t be ‘cause some n---- slid in my lane. Everything grows, it’s destined to change. – This year gon’ be different, I set my intentions I promise to slap all that hate out your voice.”
In verse two, he chose to speak directly to individuals he has helped along the way and the state of the black community. He makes a promise to them in the latter part of the verse saying,
“I’ma make sure that the real gon’ prevail.”
Music lovers want to hear the real in what artists are saying. What’s “on trend” for the moment doesn’t fool them. They can see past the smokescreen of a tight beat, if there is no heart behind the words being recited or sung, then at best, they are just letters strung together.
Lyricists like J. Cole are a rarity these days. They are the ones whose music defines the times and creates the soundtrack for generations.
This one is a hit and I’m very much looking forward to Cole’s future projects.
Lyrics provided by: https://genius.com/J-cole-middle-child-lyrics
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