J. Cole returned to music in 2019 with a big hit titled “Middle Child.” And this is just his intermin project ‘The Off-Season,’ until his much-anticipated sixth album ‘The Fall Off’ releases this year.
In “Middle Child” lyrics, J. Cole talks about how he feels trapped between two generations of artists, thus making him feel like a middle child. And the social connotation is that a middle child is often neglected between the growing eldest and the attention-seeking youngest. The middle child usually grows up to be stubborn and isolated. But the song touches on several more crucial areas as well.
The video, directed by Mez, shows some strong visuals. In the first scenario, we see J. Cole rapping his verses surrounded by both Black and White men, looking rich and fabulous. In the next scene, we see J. Cole surrounded by many corpses covered in white blankets. We can conclude that these bodies are of the same people who were shown before as rich and famous. One important detail is how all of their shoes are covered in dirt, indicating that their fame and riches were ‘dirty’ money.
In another eerie scene, we are shown J. Cole sitting down, in a hunting cabin and he has his trophy heads hung on the wall. The spectacle of this display is the three human heads. Each head is given its own golden plate with a caption. We believe these captions mean how each of these persons live in the head of J. Cole. Your ‘favourite rapper,’ ‘an artist you aspire to be’ and ‘an artist who you want to be featured with’ are all strings that keep us bound to this world. It’s no coincidence that the third head looks fairly similar to Dr. Dre.
Watch the “Middle Child” video by J. Cole below, and leave a comment on what you think song and video means to you.