Jermaine Cole (AKA J. Cole), has swept the nation with his amazing talent. Born in Germany to an African-American father and Caucasian mother, J. Cole’s world shifted when his dad left the family. His mother, older brother, and he moved to Fayetteville, NC and it was there that J. Cole became interested in rap. A true example of reflective lyricism, his songs speak volumes. There isn’t one J. Cole song that I have listened to or heard him featured on, that I cannot find an inspirational quote from.
J. Cole is by far my favorite rap artist. Not only is he local, he is also a lyrical genious.
1. Persevere...even through the hard times
“Keep grinding, your life can change in one year/ and even when it's dark out, the sun is shining somewhere.”
The lyrics almost speak for themselves. I eliminated the word “boy” because this one can be for anyone. Though things may seem like they couldn’t get much worse now, you have to keep pressing forward. When you’re down at your worst, the only way to come up, is to stay up. Things will get better. As J. Cole emphasizes, “storms” don’t last forever.
2. Forget society's beauty standards, because God already knows you're beautiful.
“You wake up, put make-up on/ stare in the mirror, but it’s clear that you can’t face what’s wrong/ no need to fix what God already put his paintbrush on."
Every day, women everywhere wake up and look in the mirror. We first notice our flaws and think of what it would be like to look a different way. Pressure from magazines and society, as to what “beauty” should be, has had its effects on everybody. When the feelings of insecurity and inadequacy creep in, girls begin to conform to what they think society wants them to look like. This is by far my favorite quote from J. Cole. Why? Because he’s right. God made each and everybody uniquely made. No one is considered “prettier” in His eyes. We all are beautiful.
3. Don't go chasing frogs, prince charming will find you
“One man's trash, another man's treasure.”
"You Got It"
Maybe you met a guy and you thought he was “the one,” but things changed. You fell out, or you realized you weren’t meant to be. After a break-up, anybody can be vulnerable. You might found a rebound guy, or you might even go back to the person who hurt you. What you should do in these emotional times, is find yourself. By praying, and bettering yourself, you allow God time to send the actual “one” your way.
4. Don't live your life with regrets
“Only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin.”
We all will die eventually. It’s just the circle of life. What we choose to do while we’re alive is what makes or breaks us. You can choose if you die with regrets or not. So when faced with tough decisions, choose the option that you feel you will be happy with in the long run.
5. It's your life to choose
“Life is a movie, pick your own role/ climb your own ladder, or you dig your own hole”
Everybody has free will and can choose how they want to live. This is basically what Cole is saying in this quote. You can either benefit yourself by doing things that will change you for the better. Or you can do things that may not be beneficial, and may have you wishing you had did things differently later in life.
6. Money doesn't mean guaranteed happiness
“For what's money without happiness?/ Or hard times without the people you love?”
This whole song is one that should be listened to by everybody. The idea behind this song is to be proud and love what you have. Referring to the widely-known quote “money can’t buy happiness”, Cole says what we all know is true deep down. What is the point of being rich, if in the end you still aren’t happy? Family and friends are everything. If you can’t enjoy your success with loved ones, then you will never truly be happy. It’s better to struggle with people who love you, then be alone with money that eventually diminishes.
7. We are all equally yoked
“Today I know that we are the same, you and I /Different kind of skin, different set of eyes / Two different minds / but only one God.”
" Fire Squad"
There is only one God. Through that God, we all came to be. Different skin colors, different accents, and different cultures- but we ultimately are all the same. No race is better. We are all of equal yoke. We all are loved by the Man Above.
8. People will change...and that's OK
“They say everything happens for a reason / And people change like the seasons, then grow apart.”
Sometimes we meet people and within a few months, they leave. Sometimes things happened that can’t be controlled. Cole is basically saying that it isn’t always your fault when friendships fade or loved ones turn their back on you. It’s the game of life. People change and grow apart. And that's OK.
9. Confidence is key
“Love yourself, girl, or nobody will.”
This lyric is intended for girls, but it can apply to anybody. In order for somebody to truly see and appreciate your beauty, you must first learn to see it yourself. Other people’s opinions aren’t the validation you need. You must love yourself.Confidence is everything.
10. We Are Wonderfully & Uniquely Made
"We ain't picture perfect, but we worth the picture still."
So maybe you don't wear the latest designer clothes and shoes. Maybe you don't play any sports. Maybe your GPA is lower than society's expectations. Maybe you aren't always on "fleek." But you know what? You're perfect just the way you are.
11. Dream big
"They say anything's possible/ You gotta dream like you never seen obstacles"
The best thing about dreams are that they give us a hope. A hope that will hopefully guide us through life until we do achieve our dreams. Granted, there will be obstacles in your way. There will also be trials and errors. But keep your chin up, dream big, and never give up.
12. The pain won't last
"I seen a baby cry...seconds later she laughed/ The beauty of life, the pain never lasts."
Maybe you're going through a bad break-up. Perhaps your parents are getting divorced. Maybe you failed your last exam. Or maybe a family member died. As J. Cole quotes, the pain won't last long. Sooner or later, you will laugh again.
13. Value yourself
"Hoping this will reach you and you understand / That your value ain't determined by another man"
"Losing My Balance"
Okay, so J. Cole originally geared this quote to males. I am going to interpret it a little different, and use a female's perspective. God made us in His image, so we must value ourselves. Don't ever think that just because a man puts you down, you aren't "worth it." You are absolutely worth it.