“amari” is the second track on J. Cole’s 2021 album ‘The Off-Season.’ On the track, J. Cole spits words of motivation narrating his life story of making it out of the streets into the biggest mansions money could buy.
J. Cole announced his sixth studio album ‘The Off-Season‘ out of the blue as intended. The rapper only released an interlude from the album before the album release on May 14, 2021. This is J. Cole’s follow-up album to his 2018 project ‘KOD.’ Announcing the album, J. Cole said, the new album was years in the making.
The chorus of the song hits hard. J. Cole raps about how he had one vision while he was scraping bits in the streets: one vision to make it out. This vision turned his budget Honda car into a luxury Rolls-Royce Wraith. A Honda costs about $15,000 and a Wraith costs upwards of $300,000. Cole also says neither he nor his family had seen a passport back in the day. Now he is invited to perform all across the world. Growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, J. Cole had not seen anything in the world, except for its underbelly, until he broke out. It has to count for something, right?!
Watch “amari” Music Video by J. Cole
“amari” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the only verse of the song, J. Cole sings about what your fate was back in the day. It was either hustle hard to scrape some pennies or join the military. Ironically, both routes had similar odds for ending up dead. Cole calls it “murder scene pumping” in his hometown.
J. Cole says the work he did to become who is today is not for the sleepy or grumpy AKA slumpy. He sees the clock hit 12 (or 12 hours of work later) and he knows it’s nothing. It’s no time to rest yet. These ideas tie in with the theme of the album. J. Cole describes the off-season as the time when players put the most effort to enhance their skills. During the season, it’s showtime, not the time for hard work.
Cole also nods at the record label he co-founded by the name Dreamville Records. This is yet another one of the many milestones he achieved on his way to the top.
Despite everything, what Cole cannot stand to see is his own people turning on him. People who cannot see Cole’s fame and fortune rise will turn from family to foe.
J. Cole also recalls the days in his hometown in Fayetteville, when they had to huddle around the stove for heat. The environment got cold and so were the people. Through the harsh concrete floors grew a rose that went on to conquer the world. The concept of rose through the concrete is also a nod to the collection of poems by the name ‘The Rose That Grew From Concrete’ by Tupac released in 1991.
Cole also remembers the times he used to punch the clock to get paid–often refers to a low-paying manual job. But no more! Everywhere he sits is a throne now! This speaks volumes to the success he has been able to achieve at the mere age of 36 (2021).
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.