Why Everyone Needs To Listen To J. Cole At Least Once

Why Everyone Needs To Listen To J. Cole At Least Once

J. Cole's music can really change a person's life.
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There is no secret that I am a huge J. Cole fan and love all of his work, past and present. As I was trying to figure out what to write about for this week, I stopped and looked at my first J. Cole CD. Then it hit me. I'll write about one of my biggest inspirations and give a few reasons why everyone needs to listen to J. Cole at least once. You don't have to become a fan, but giving him a listen won't hurt.

J. Cole's music is the best music for when you wanna think deep. I have a Spotify playlist that I listen to when I need to write or work on homework. And J. Cole encompasses a lot of the playlist because his flow is just mellow. I don't always want to listen to rap music and feel like I need to get up and bounce around.

Great rap music can have you think about life and Cole does this best for me in the song "4 Your Eyez Only". And yes, the "eyez" is supposed to be spelled with a "z." This song is about a character that is seen throughout Cole's album, "4 Your Eyez Only," and it is in a letter to a little girl named Nina from her deceased father.

Cole raps the letter to the little girl and it has a tone that is depressing but catches the audience's attention. In the final verse, Cole switches into his own words and tells the little girl about her father, "your daddy was a real n****, not 'cause he was hard. Not because he lived a life of crime and sat behind some bars. Not because he screamed, 'F*** the law.' Although that was true. Your daddy was a real n**** cause he loved you." This part of the song is such a hit in the stomach that you can't just listen to it and not feel something. Cole can just tap into the emotions of the audience and deliver amazing bars.

Besides Cole being a go-to when it comes to deep thinkers, he is just a great lyricist. One of my favorite lines that makes me laugh is when J. Cole is guest featured on Janet Jackson's song "No Sleep". Cole raps, "But too scared to say cause we know how this seems. Thinking, maybe we'd be better off friends with benefits." Cole is just having a good time and rapping about love and friendship with comedy. Another song that I know people are familiar with is his hit single, "Work Out". In this song, Cole is having fun with saying him and this girl should get together and "work out." This is one of his most mainstream songs and not a personal favorite of mine, but I still love his work.

If you want to be a deep thinker, but you want a banger as well. Then Cole is the go-to for that type of music as well. So is Kendrick Lamar, but we aren't going to talk about him today.

Cole is featured in the song with his fellow Dreamville artist, Bas. In "My N**** Just Made Bail", we see both Bas and Cole giving us bars that make you want to chill with friends and have a few beers. But, Cole being Cole has to always sneak in a conscience line somewhere in the song. He says, "This is for my new chick tryin' get fit, say she too thick. Ain't no such thing as too thick, what you wanna be a toothpick?" Here Cole is talking about body image and how women shouldn't try to conform to the public's idea of sexy. Cole doesn't mind the thick girls. He also does this in "Crooked Smile".

"And they all look like my eyebrows: thick as hell. Love yourself, girl, or nobody will. Though you a woman I don't know how you deal. With all the pressure to look impressive and go out in heels." This whole song shows Cole's compassion towards women and the struggles that they face in this society that is unappreciative of our women.

For my first article for The Odyssey, I wrote on how I view Cole as hip hop's MLK. This is yet another reason why everyone should listen to Cole at least once. He gives us songs that are nothing short of a masterpiece. And I know that me being a huge fan seems that I am being biased. Well, I may be biased towards Cole, but hip-hop fans have to admit that even though Cole doesn't top the charts like the Migos, Drake, Future or Kendrick Lamar, he is still one of the best in the game. One of Cole's shortest songs, "Want You to Fly", is one of my favorites and I will end the article with it.

"God is real and he using me for a bigger purpose. So, f*** the world that would have thought that a n**** worthless. Sometimes I think that these verses can help a person way more than the ones they readin' in churches on days of worship. No disrespect to the Lord and Savior, that ain't just ego. I just observe that them words no longer relate to people. Cause modern times be flooded with dollar signs."

Those lyrics speak to me so well that I find it extremely hard to not listen to this song at least four or five times in a row. He talks about the impact of religion in our world today. He tackles the problems of modern times and hits every word with emphasis and proves that he does not care about the fame or money. He is concerned with making sure humanity, especially those who people forget about it, have a chance to fly and succeed in life.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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23 Things That ~Barely~ Run Through A Girl's Mind During Her First Workout In, Like, Forever

Why did I do this to myself?

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It's the beginning of the semester and that means half of the students on campus have decided that we are going to go back to the gym after their workout routine fell through last semester. It's been months since we've stepped foot in the gym, but we are ready to attack it and get fit. That is until we get there and start going.

1. How did I get to the gym? Didn't I walk here? That should count as exercise

2. Why am I here?

3. Are these clothes tighter than they were last time?

4. Why is every single machine full? What am I supposed to do?

5. Is everyone looking at me?

6. I can't remember where anything is here

7. Okay, I am going to set this at the easiest level

8. Can I go home yet?

9. Is 3 minutes long enough? No, darn it.

10. How many calories have I burned? Only 10 are you kidding me!

11. Why is everyone else here going so hard? I look like a slacker

12. I am so sweaty right now

13. Maybe I should get a smoothie as a reward for working out

14. I am literally dying right now. I am about to drop dead

15. Only 5 more minutes to go. I've got this!

16. I don't got this

17. Why do people come here every day?

18. Last minute I'm going to go so hard right now

19. Just kidding that two seconds was good enough. I'm going to cool down for the last 58

20. Hallelujah, praise Jesus, I am done!

21. I am so tired

22. My body is so sore

23. I can't believe I have to walk home now. I've already done my exercising for the day

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