“Middle Child” review

Chase Rehder, Sports Editor

The new song “Middle Child” is part of J. Cole’s interim project titled ‘The Off-Season,’ until his much anticipated sixth studio album ‘The Fall Off.’

In “Middle Child,” Cole speaks about his place in the rap game. Although he identifies himself as one of the best in the game, the song winds around the fact that J. Cole cannot stop but think that he is stuck between two generations. J. Cole, who has been an active star in music since 2007, is both a veteran and a still relevant player in the game. Hence, it is no doubt that he feels a little lost between two generations.

In the refrain J. Cole prepares himself for the bars he is about to drop in this song. He is readying his gun, prepping to shoot some real fast bullets at his targets. He has a list of names; unlikely to have any relevance with the names he dropped on his Instagram page prior to song release.

In the first verse of “Middle Child,” J. Cole talks about how he has not given up on his dream. The contrasting feature of his dream vs others’ dreams is that J. Cole is in it for others now. He says that he has already earned a few million to his name and now he wants to help his brothers out. J. Cole would be an excellent friend to have.

Cole also talks about his no-pills personality. Unlike most hip-hop artists who constantly sing about drugs, sex, and money, J. Cole talks of the opposite. He is not afraid to come out saying that he does not do any drugs. But he is not one to isolate the ones that do either. He has friends who are ‘fiends’ for drugs and alcohol.

J. Cole also talks about the time the industry tried to spark a fire between himself and Drake. He talks about a Rolex watch gifted by Drake during the same time. Peace can be achieved without conflict.

Towards the latter part of the first verse, J. Cole pays homage to the real OGs of the game who inspired him and who paved the path to his career and highlights. Cole does not shy away from calling himself ‘the greatest!’

In the second verse, Cole portrays a genuine fear of being ‘stuck in the middle’-unable to relate to either generation. Even though he is full of hope, he does call his situation “dead in the middle.”

He ends the second verse with several references to African American oppression endured across generations. He calls this experience ‘trauma’ being faced daily for generations. Cole does not forget to mention the gang wars where brothers kill each other for no reason at all.