J. Cole – Middle Child (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
So far in the 2019 new year, we have heard many new music by a handful of artists. But “Middle Child” by J. Cole just might be our favourite so far. And this contest includes some epic music by XXXTentacion, Dua Lipa, Future, Ella Mai, Lauren Jauregui and more.
The new song “Middle Child” is part of J. Cole’s interim project titled ‘The Off-Season,’ until his much anticipated sixth studio album ‘The Fall Off.’ The new mixtape also included a lead single titled “Album Of The Year’ which might as well be about his upcoming album. As of now, there are no further announced song titles from the mixtape.
In “Middle Child,” Cole speaks about his place in the rap game. Although he identifies himself as one of the best in the game, the song winds around the fact that J. Cole cannot stop but think that he is stuck between two generations. J. Cole, who has been an active star in music since 2007, is both a veteran and a still relevant player in the game. Hence, it is no doubt that he feels a little lost between two generations.
Listen to “Middle Child” by J. Cole
Minutes before the song release on January 24, 2019, J. Cole posted pictures of real-life middle children–Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Madonna, John F. Kennedy, LiAngelo Ball, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and even Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons animated TV series. He captioned each and every picture “MIDDLE.”
Middle child in a family is often believed to be the one to be neglected-shadowed by the growing eldest and the youngest grabbing all the attention and love. Because of this, the middle child is often said to be the most rebellious.
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “Middle Child”
J. Cole prepares himself for the bars he is about to drop in this song. He is readying his gun, prepping to shoot some real fast bullets at his targets. He has a list of names; unlikely to have any relavance with the names he dropped on his Instagram page prior to song release.
Cole talks about how he feels as if he has been counted out of the music industry. He also bluntly says that the artists worth living have passed away and artists who don’t deserve to be shining are doing so. Most likely Cole is referring to the untimely deaths of beloved XXXTentacion and Mac Miller in 2018.
In the first verse of “Middle Child,” J. Cole talks about how he has not given up on his dream. The contrasting feature of his dream vs others dreams is that J. Cole is in it for others now. He says that he has already earned a few millions to his name and now he wants to help his brothers out. J. Cole would be an excellent friend to have.
Cole also talks about his no-pills personality. Unlike most hip-hop artists who constantly sing about drugs, sex and money, J. Cole talks of the opposite. He is not afraid to come out saying that he does not do any drugs. But he is not one to isolate the ones that do either. He has friends who are ‘fiends’ for drugs and alcohol.
J. Cole also talks about the time the industry tried to spark a fire between himself and Drake. He talks about a Rolex watch gifted by Drake during the same time. Peace can be achieved without conflict.
Towards the latter part of the first verse, J. Cole pays homage to the real OGs of the game who inspired him and who paved the path to his career and highlights. Cole does not shy away from calling himself ‘the greatest!’
In the second verse of “Middle Child,” J. Cole brings in some names whom he considers to be the real players of the game. Names such as Jay-Z (“Jigga”), 21 Savage (collab on “a lot“) and Kodak Black.
Cole seems to have a genuine fear of being ‘stuck in the middle’-unable to relate to either generation. Even though he is full of hope, he does call his situation “dead in the
He ends the second verse with several references to African American oppression endured across generations. He calls this experience ‘trauma’ being faced on a daily basis for generations. Cole does not forget to mention the gang wars where brothers kill each other for no reason at all.
Despite dropping some hot bars along the lines of ‘middle child,’ J. Cole is not one himself. He has one elder brother.
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Complete Lyrics to “Middle Child” by J. Cole