J. Cole: 'Ain't Enough Of Us Trying' : Microphone Check : NPR
J. Cole hosted a surprise listening session in NYC for fans to hear his footsteps of Cole's last LP, 4 Your Eyez Only, which he dropped back in joint for smokers and addresses topics like tax dollars and role models. This money-spinning industry hit the headlines last week when Cheryl Cole was criticised for charging £ to meet-and-greet concert goers. Photo by Cole Kiburz The common answer these days would be to impose a tax on the Vans Warped Tour — Free Meet and Greet.
J. Cole: 'Ain't Enough Of Us Trying'
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Cole Swindell At BB&T Arena
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We take commercially reasonable physical, electronic and administrative steps to maintain the security of the information collected. So that's a very interesting point I think you're making that separates hip-hop from these — other genres and other art forms. And that's why I feel like it's so important. And that's why it hurts me for it to be — I don't want to be one of those guys like, "Ah, man hip-hop is in the worst state.
Cause we are the ones that got the real power in the pen. We can say so much. The closest comparison is probably "i," Kendrick's "i. People know that you guys are partners in some ways and — do you have conversations about that message? Or conversations -- COLE: We was in Australia basically on a flight.FAQ Friday: Cole And Marmalade's Owner?!
The convo was — everything I'm talking about right now that ended up on my album, I was telling him. Cause I was in the middle of making the album. And I had the direction and I knew a what my life was about now and what I've understand as a man, you know what I mean?
But I'm telling him, too like, "Yo. This is what I found out. I had to go through it, and I figured out this ain't important. And then we also having a deeper conversation — it's crazy you bring up "i. I don't know for sure — I don't know what his album is on. I can't wait to hear it. But that artwork, I know for a fact — you can ask him. I haven't asked him yet.
I would love to know what he says. That artwork has to be a direct result of the conversation we had. I just feel like — and I was telling him this on the plane — I feel like he is the one. First of all, I read, around that time — this how the conversation came up. I read a book, Monster.
Monster Kody, which is, if you don't know, he's a notorious gang-banger from L. His book is ridiculous. The story is crazy. It's almost — it's unbelievable. It's like the wild west out there when gangs got poppin'. And he was coming up in a different era of gang-banging. The book is unbelievable. So I started telling him about the book.
You know, obviously he knows the story. But I'm just like — even Monster Kody acknowledges, in the book, how silly gang-banging is. But it's a trap. It's a cycle, you know what I mean? It's literally the dumbest thing you've ever — black people killing black people. Literally, for the street you grew up on and what color your brother was associated with or your uncle was associated with, your pops was associated with.
I'm not from L. We got gang-bangers in Carolina but it's like, I almost laugh when I think about it cause I'm like, "How did this happen? How did it spread all the way over here? Oh, I know what part you're talking about.
You can be the one to end it. It's silly at this point. You can't — we can't — first of all, no black man should be killing a black man, period. And absolutely not for a color, not for a street, not for a neighborhood, not for — but it's a cycle. It's like, your uncle killed my uncle. You uncle killed my brother. Your cousin killed my cousin. And it's — so it's a cycle that's hard to get out of. But I was telling him, if it's anybody that can do it, it's him.
Because he's from Compton. He has the power. And I think that goes to the point of, like — we in a time right now where people looking to celebrities for — to be that voice.
And I'm not saying it's right or wrong, cause I don't expect any man to do nothing that is — his heart ain't in. But I feel like we are the only ones — not meaning me and Kendrick — but I'm saying, we, as people in the light that have the eyes and the ears of the young people, we have a responsibility.
If it's in our heart, we have a responsibility to tell them and show them the way. And not make money off of playing into the stereotypes, you know what I mean? Obviously, Kendrick don't do that.
I don't do that. But it's like, there's so many rap — I don't want it. It's not cool no more to rap about being a drug dealer when you ain't sold drugs in ten years, 20 years. It's not cool no more. You don't do it. You don't make your money no more off the street, if you ever did in the first place. So why you still rapping about it? Why you still inspiring — it's just — I'm angry about it.
So, to get back to the point, when I saw the "i" artwork I got excited. Because just that little message is so strong. And I feel like Kendrick got the voice and he can do it. He can be the one to wake 'em up and be like, "Yo, man.
This s, we gotta stop this. People respect artists and poets. And he has the credibility cause he's from there. He ain't banging, but they know: Same way I can speak to somebody from where I'm from and let them know the same — or something similar if they going down the wrong path. But I feel like it ain't enough of us trying.
There's too much of us trying to make money and a career off of the same cycle. Off of the victim. We celebrating being victims. And that was cool to me before. It ain't cool to me no more. I can't even — I can't even celebrate that no more. Well, I think someone has to be courageous — and just like the little bread crumbs. If it's just one and then two, you and Kendrick are talking — to know that that's the type of conversations you guys are having is inspiring.
And to know that, through that conversation, you put out a record like you did. I find Forest Hills Drive to be fearless. And I was commenting to a friend asking me about, I said, "Yo. He just banging on people. What is the system? Who is the system? America is the system. Capitalism is the system. It's the system that tells us that we need more. It's billions of people in the world, hundreds of millions in America.
You know how intelligent we are as human beings and how powerful we are as human beings? I don't know what your job is, but I know that your purpose is you, is for you to get more money and for you to be able to survive and eat, period. And your family, tops, if it comes to other people. And you could pass me and be sure that I'm doing the same thing. So someone makes something that's amazing for the world.
Let's say it's a phone with a video camera on it. The world actually needs it. It does provide a great service to the world. That person's a genius. Thank you for contributing that to the world. I know you contributed to make money, that was your goal, but you did it.
Now, the hundreds of other million Americans — let's say there's a million in the phone industry — instead of trying to contribute something that also helps the world, their goal now, their intention, is to take the same idea that this person — their energy goes to taking the same idea that this person just made — and I used a dumb example, but this just gives you an example of how it works.
This person made a cell phone with a video camera. Now so many other people who are smart and intelligent and have energy to provide for the world are using their energy to make a cheaper version of what this person just made, to capitalize on the money.
They're not offering nothing to the world. Or like, a girlier version? Or like a tougher version. Just a different version of what's already been created. Not something that's needed or necessary, something that's cheaper and more profitable.
So that's the system that we living in. The system is pumping to you: Yeah, you got that one but you don't got this one. You got the 5 but you don't got the 6. You got the but you ain't got the You got the inch but you ain't inch LED with the laser light.
Like, you don't got the 3D model, but the world don't need that. But everybody spending they time providing the world with things that a they don't need and b are terrible for them.