Building off momentum from his 4th studio LP 4 Your Eyez Only, MLK Day, and the ongoing oppression faced by African-Americans comes J. Cole’s single “High for Hours,” a feeling that derives from all the aforementioned topics. The Dreamvillain rides over a smooth beat that tackles his recent visit with Barack Obama, and a must-needed talk about revolution that’ll hopefully trickle throughout the year.
Story | Nico Blitz
“High for Hours” was released on MLK Day. The socially conscious track evokes his urge to be high during these dark times of discrimination, racism, and police brutality because, in his eyes, its the only way to escape.
Cole sticks to his rapping formula: a verse about the overall problem (oppression), his personal experience (meeting President Obama), and the solution both he and the world can execute (revolution). He introduces American hypocrisy from the beginning to the present day, starting from slavery and manipulation of religion, and today’s police brutality compared to the likes of ISIS and Bin Laden:
American hypocrisy, oh, let me count the ways/They came here seeking freedom, they end up ownin’ slaves/Justified it usin’ Christianity which saves/Religion don’t mean shit, there’s too much ego in the way/That’s why ISIS is a crisis, but in reality this country do the same shit/Take a life and call it righteous
The opening bars alone show that American society, or nearly any society, is similar to ISIS in terms of violence. Pinpointing to police brutality in particular, Cole explains that America is just as corrupt as its ISIS enemies. However, in spite of all the violence, the Fayettenam rapper advocates personal revolution as the solution to the crisis in his final bars:
“What good is taking over when we know what you gone do/The only real revolution is happens right inside of you”
In other words, America cannot wait for a revolution to start. You have to start the revolution.
“High for Hours” is also referred to as ‘Volume 1’ according to J. Cole. Hence, we may be expecting more timely tracks from him in the near future.