Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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SOTD: Friends

j-cole-king.jpg

I’ve written about J.Cole’s recent album, KOD, on this blog before, but I wanted to shed more light onto some of the specific songs that together make the album so great. Months later, I still can listen from top to bottom of the album. In a few years, this may make my greatest album list, although it’s still too early to tell in my opinion.

The song FRIENDS features kiLL edward and is a bit over 4 minutes in duration. It’s essentially an anthem of getting over addiction, kind of. Read lyrics below.

 [Intro: J. Cole]

Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today

[Chorus: kiLL edward]
I got thoughts, can't control
Got me down, got me low
Rest my mind, rest my soul
When I blow, when I blow
Am I wrong, let them know
Feels so right to let things go
Don't think twice, this is me
This is how I should be

[Bridge: J. Cole]
But I'm aggravated without it
My saddest days are without it
My Saturdays are the loudest
I'm blowing strong
Some niggas graduated to powder
I dabble later, I doubt it
My database of narcotics
It's growing long
But I'm aggravated without it
My saddest days are without it
My Saturdays are the loudest
I'm blowing strong
Some niggas graduated to powder
I dabble later, I doubt it
My database of narcotics
It's growing long

[Intro: J. Cole]
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today
Cop another bag and smoke today

[Chorus: kiLL edward]
I got thoughts, can't control
Got me down, got me low
Rest my mind, rest my soul
When I blow, when I blow
Am I wrong, let them know
Feels so right to let things go
Don't think twice, this is me
This is how I should be

[Bridge: J. Cole]
But I'm aggravated without it
My saddest days are without it
My Saturdays are the loudest
I'm blowing strong
Some niggas graduated to powder
I dabble later, I doubt it
My database of narcotics
It's growing long
But I'm aggravated without it
My saddest days are without it
My Saturdays are the loudest
I'm blowing strong
Some niggas graduated to powder
I dabble later, I doubt it
My database of narcotics

It's growing long

[Verse: J. Cole]
I wrote this shit to talk about the word addiction
To my niggas --- I hope you listening
--- and ---, I hope you listening
This is for the whole fucking Ville, I hope you're listening
Smoking medical grade, but I ain't got prescription
All the way in Cali where they ain't got precipi-
-tation, feeling like the only one that made it
And I hate it for my niggas 'cause they ain't got ambition
Fuck did you expect, you can blame it on condition
Blame it on crack, you can blame it on the system
Blame it on the fact that 12 got jurisdiction
To ride around in neighborhoods that they ain't ever lived in
Blame it on the strain that you feel when daddy missing
Blame it on Trump shit, blame it on Clinton
Blame it on trap music and the politicians
Or the fact that every black boy wanna be Pippen
But they only got twelve slots on the Pistons
Blame it on the rain, Milli Vanilli with the disk skip
What I'm tryna say is the blame can go deep as seas
Just to blame 'em all I would need like twenty CD's
There's all sorts of trauma from drama that children see
Type of shit that normally would call for therapy
But you know just how it go in our community
Keep that shit inside it don't matter how hard it be
Fast forward, them kids is grown and they blowing trees
And popping pills due to chronic anxiety
I been saw the problem but stay silent 'cause I ain't Jesus
This ain't no trial if you desire go higher please
But fuck that now I'm older I love you 'cause you my friend
Without the drugs I want you be comfortable in your skin
I know you so I know you still keep a lot of shit in
You running from yourself and you buying product again
I know you say it helps and no I'm not trying to offend
But I know depression and drug addiction don't blend
Reality distorts and then you get lost in the wind
And I done seen the combo take niggas off the deep end
One thing about your demons they bound to catch up one day
I'd rather see you stand up and face them than run away
I understand this message is not the coolest to say
But if you down to try it I know of a better way
Meditate

[Pre-Chorus: J. Cole]
Meditate, meditate, meditate, meditate
Don't medicate, medicate, don't medicate, medicate
Meditate, meditate, meditate, meditate
Don't medicate, medicate, don't medicate, medicate

[Chorus: kiLL edward]
I got thoughts, can't control
Got me down, got me low
Rest my mind, rest my soul
When I blow, when I blow
Am I wrong, let them know
Feels so right to let things go
Don't think twice, this is me
This is how I should be

[Outro: J. Cole]
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today
Cop another bag of smoke today

This song is different and speaks on many levels because the chorus is the typical hip-hop/rap mantra of “doing drugs publically is cool” and then if you’re actually listening you hear Cole talking to his “friends” who do drugs, that aren’t prescribed to them, and telling them they can blame all these different things for why but they still should get over that hurdle in their life. And Cole’s solution? Meditation. 

He’s also justifying or explaining why drug use is the way it is now. I especially love the lines, “I love you cause you my friend, without the drugs, I want you be comfortable in your skin, I know you so I know you still keep a lot of shit in. You running from yourself and you buying product again. I know you say it help and no I’m not trying to offend, but I know depression and drug addiction don’t blend. Reality distorts and then you get lost in the wind. And I done seen the combo take ****** off the deep end. One thing about your demons, they bound to catch up one day. I’d rather see you stand up and face them than run away. I understand this message is not the coolest to say, but if you down to try it I know of a better way. Meditate.” 

Cole is there for his friends. That’s the message. 

He wants individuals, including his own friends, to feel comfortable with themselves again. He knows if they can find a way to get out of the hole that drugs have dug, they can find their true identity again.

Cole suggests that drugs can be avoided with healthier substitutions, in particular, meditation. Meditation can provide means of mindfulness and positivity as an alternative to drug abuse and medication (Genius).

Drugs are a solution but not the ONLY solution. Obviously it depends on the person and the situation and many other fine details. But I think another part of Cole’s message is to try other ways of self care like meditation or therapy. 

kk