Fans of the rap-game all look for a certain of uniqueness and quality in their favorite rappers. Everyone wants to believe rappers are real within their music and that their lyrics represent who they are as people. However, this is not always the case. Over time, many artists let fame, fortune, and high-praise get to their heads, and some even change their style up. Although this works for some artists, J. Cole presents the idea that being real to oneself within the music is what’s truly important in the industry, exemplified in his song “False Prophets”.
Story | Shealene Sakacs
“False Prophets” is the ultimate banger from his new album 4 Your Eyez Only that will have you nodding your head and grooving to the beat from beginning to end. The video for this single is as real as the song itself. Produced by Freddie Joachim, it features Cole simply chillin’ in a white tee and sneakers, rapping in a bus, and meeting all types of people throughout the city. The everyday livelihood exemplified in this video correlates with his lyrics because it proves that you don’t have to dress or act a certain way to impress anyone, especially your fans. Quality music is all that really matters in the end.
“False Prophets” show Cole’s true self and how he simply just cares about his music and writing what’s in his heart. Many forget the importance of this idea, for example, Kanye West who seems to be a huge influence on this concept. Could the lyrics of this song possibly be throwing some shade at West? There’s no clear answer, however, the line:
“He’s fallin’ apart but we deny it, justifying that half-ass shit he dropped, we always buy it, when he tell us he a genius but it’s clearer lately, it’s been hard for him to look in the mirror lately”
Somewhat suggests that it is based off of Ye’s recent altercations. You decide for yourself.
In the video Cole is surrounds himself with everyday people, and everyday scenes wrapped up in a mixture of modern colors that gives you a feeling of bliss. He examines what having fame is like and how he lives his life. Although Cole is extremely popular and a widely influential artist, he brings light to the idea that fame means nothing if you can’t remember where you came from. J. Cole is one of those artists that wants their fans to imagine what the real world is like through his music without boasting or bragging about the fame that comes from it.
In the single, the Dreamvillian talks about how many of those he grew up listening to aren’t what he thought they were. Many of today’s artists don’t even write their own lyrics, and have ghostwriters to create bangers for them. He also talks about the fact that the lust for fame and recognition has become more prevalent for rappers, rather than caring about the actual lyrics and the music they write (or that they don’t write).
Now that J. Cole has created this fandom and has reached the top of the rap-game he realizes that it’s not what he thought it would be. The artists he grew up idolizing aren’t as influential as he thought when a lot of them care more about the paper and the credit than their own lyrics.
One of the most powerful quotes in this single to justify Cole’s feelings is:
“My lowest moments came from tryin’ too hard to impress some niggas that couldn’t care if I’m on. Therefore from here on out, my hair grow out, I care nothin’ bout opinions.”
At the end of the day, Cole realizes that despite the money and fame, what truly matters is being real and writing music that comes from within, being a “False Prophet” is not how to do it.
J. Cole’s newest album 4 Your Eyez Only is set to release on December 9.