Thoughts on Jermaine’s Interlude

People who don’t respect music as the powerful tool it is make me upset, confused, anxious. I was in my room one night lamenting all the fake, factory made, wannabe hip hop that I hear today — stale fantasies about riches not only from mainstream rappers, but even some of my facebook friends. Then I thought, maybe I shouldn’t be mad at these people and I should just feel sorry for them, you know maybe they were just swayed by self-destructive media. Then I thought maybe I’m just salty cuz they get more views on their soundcloud than I do. Then I thought, nah it’s OK I just need a counter-balance of consciousness so that ignorance doesn’t consume my own shit. Then I went online and saw that J Cole put out a new track, right on time.

I remember when I first started listening to my own music that I chose was around the time of The Come Up. My older siblings had the mixtape on our shared computer and I listened to it like ohhhhh shit. I heard simba and I was like what the fuck just happened to my ears!?? I’ve always been more of a lyrics person than most people I know and Cole ignited something in me that I hadn’t felt since I was like 5 and I knew all the words to Nas’ One Mic (I’m so deadass you can ask my brother). Ever since then I was a Cole fan, and it was so exciting because it seemed he started making music right as I started listening as intently as I was. Fast forward to Sideline Story — I didn’t fuck with it too hard until it insidiously grew on me. Actually I did fuck with the lyricism and everything but I didn’t think it was a step in the progressive direction like Friday Night Lights was. Born Sinner I was able to appreciate better when I got older and wiser. Forest Hills Drive is a masterpiece.

Anyway I was kinda late on it and I noticed that a lot of blogs were saying “Will J Cole Retire?” “J Cole reveals that he’s been thinking about retirement” I thought this most recent track was definitely soulful, but seemed more pessimistic than most of his other stuff. Things he says like “Have you ever been as sad as I am/ Lord I ask if anything would change”… Fuuck don’t be sad Jermaine youre gonna make me think I should be sad if youre sad. It’s unnerving cuz he’s usually so chill. Also when he says “I can see the future that we’re heading/ I would say it’s be better not to tell/ If it’s anything like this in heaven/ maybe I’d be better off in hell” What does he see? What future is he talking about? Is it Donald Trump? WWIII? These are the questions I was asking myself. Obviously as a fan I would be disappointed if he retired but as a person I wonder more about what his mental health is looking like these days. Just saying like what if he pulled a Lauryn Hill and exiled himself? Think about the amount of success 2014 Forest Hills Drive has. Could it be compared to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill? Questions.

Maybe we’re all over-thinking it. Like this track could’ve been made a while ago. Jermaine could’ve just spoke about retirement to make a point. What I really really feel about this track is that it’s great healing music, which is very much needed at this time. Even though it’s kinda sad I’m grateful to get some new Cole.