SOTD: Lights please
J. Cole’s 2009 song, “Lights Please,” is an instrumental part of the North Carolina MC’s career. The track first caught the attention of record executive Mark Pitts, who played it for Cole’s future label boss JAY-Z. Produced by Cole himself, it appeared on the Dreamville founder’s second mixtape, 2009’s The Warm Up, and was re-rereleased on his major debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, two years later.
On “Lights Please,” Cole describes a hook-up that he keeps interrupting to discuss the state of the world:
I told her all about how we been livin' a lie
And that they love to see us all go to prison or die
Like, Baby, look at how they show us on the TV screen
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans
While “Lights Please” appears on the surface to be about a woman too shallow to hear Cole’s thoughts, there could be a deeper meaning to the lyrics. Following in the footsteps of songs like Common’s “I Used To Love Her,” the track could also be a metaphor for hip-hop—as Cole tries to voice his political and social views, the genre keeps churning out distractions. (Genius)