Editor Connor Bird breaks down J Cole’s new song, “MIDDLE CHILD”


Connor Bird, Sports Editor

Cole has finally dropped his highly anticipated single, and first single of 2019. It is named “Middle Child” and discusses topics such as Cole’s awkward position in the rap game, disses other artists, and talks about the change in the culture of rap. This is a breakdown of a few powerful lyrics during the song.


“The real ones been dyin’, the fake ones is lit / The game is off balance”

In this line, Cole shows his displeasure in the rap game in 2019. He says the real have become less prevalent, and the “fake” rappers have taken the spotlight in the rap game. Cole has referenced this in the past, so this has definitely impacted him. He feuded with young rapper Lil Pump in the past, and other young rappers have taken their shot at J. Cole.


“The Bentley is dirty, my sneakers is dirty / But that’s how I like it”

Cole has talked about his humble beginnings in the past, and once again references how even though he has gained fame and money, that he will never become snobbish or stuck up.


“I roll with some fiends, I love ’em to death / I got a few mil’ but not all of them rich”

This lyric discusses people in J. Cole’s record label “Dreamville” and how although Cole is successful, not all of them are. In the next line he asks the question, What is the point of money if my friends don’t have? Cole is once again concerned with his friends, and other artists in his label, and is sad at the fact that he is successful and they aren’t. He doesn’t measure success in money or fame, rather than whether or not his friends are in good spots in their life as well.


“It won’t be to sell you my latest lil’ sneakers”

In this line Cole takes a shot at fellow rapper, Kanye. Kanye has a shoe line known as Yeezy, and is constantly promoting it through his music and social media. J. Cole seems to have taken offence at this self promotion, and has taken a rare shot at rap icon.


“I’m dead in the middle of two generations / I’m little bro and big bro all at once”

This lyric discusses the main theme of this song, and also reinforces the title of “Middle Child”. J. Cole says he is between two generation of rap. He isn’t as old as 2pac or Jay Z, but he isn’t as young as Lil Pump or 21 Savage. He is in a similar generation as Kendrick Lamar and Kanye, and he feels as though that he is the “Middle Child” of the rap game. He talks of the pros and cons, but mainly focuses on the fact that he doesn’t necessarily have his own unique place in the game. The middle child in families is sometimes considered the “forgotten” generation, because they are surrounded by both the oldest and youngest children in the family. J. Cole is trying to fight this fact and not be forgotten. He instead wants to learn from the older generation in order to teach the younger generation.


“Spending they birthdays in cycle a cell / We coming from a long bloodline of trauma / We raised by our mamas, Lord we gotta heal”

In this lyric Cole is speaking on behalf of the African-Americans in America. He empathized with those having to spend their “birthdays inside of a cell”. He continues to explain that his race has come from a long line of trauma, but that they must heal and move on.


“Money in your palm don’t make you real / Pistol in your hand don’t make you real”

This line once again ties up to the first few lines in the song, which is that the fake are becoming more prevalent in the rap game. This time he calls out some artist and says that money or guns doesn’t make one “real” or “tought”. These are the last two lines in the song and seem to call out the younger generation to action.

Overall “Middle Child” is a very good song by J. Cole, and should be considered for your playlist in the upcoming weeks. It covers very powerful topics and has a very melodic and catchy tune. It isn’t necessarily Cole’s best work, but has a signature sound, and is sonically pleasing as J. Cole uses autotune, which is extremely rare for him. It creates a very unique sound that may take some getting used to, but overall it is a very solid song and worth the listen.


Rating: 4.5/5