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What Went Wrong With… J. Cole’s Fire Squad & The Phrase “My Nigga”?

What Went Wrong With... J. Cole's lyric My Nigga Elvis in Fire Squad? Image of J. Cole And Elvis with speach bubble

Hip-Hop is now undoubtedly a watered-down fake version of itself. Case in point; J. Cole’s track “Fire Squad” from his upcoming Album “Forest Hills Drive”. The track is okay (nothing to write home about) but when it was released yesterday, people focussed on a section from one of the verses and began to act like it was the most controversial lyric in existence. Go online and you’ll see there’s countless mag’s and articles yelling “diss!” and “controversy!”, and yet they all forget to mention that the J.Cole lyric is:

  1. Not A Diss
  2. Not Controversial
  3. Pointless

The lyric in question goes like this…

“History repeats itself and that’s just how it goes
Same way that these rappers always bite each others flows
Same thing that my nigga Elvis did with Rock ‘N’ Roll
Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and then Macklemore
While silly niggas argue over who gone snatch the crown
Look around my nigga white people have snatched the sound
This year I’ll prolly go to the awards dappered down
Watch Iggy win a Grammy as I try to crack a smile
I’m just playin’…”

Now, on the surface it seems J. Cole is speaking on issues relating to the state of Hip-Hop today, but look closely and you can see that this song is skirting around the subject almost as if it was intended to stifle any real opinion from the underground. So in the aftermath of this track if you ask the question “why do white music acts sell more units and get more accolades than their black counterparts?”, people will simply say “didn’t J. Cole speak about that?”. “Fire Squad” in that respect, seems like a great way of quashing any real debate.

So let’s get things straight, this track isn’t dead prez, this isn’t Ras Kass, this isn’t P.E. (Public Enemy or Pro Era), this is hollow Hip-Hop masquerading as deep. Getting hyped prior to an album release is simply a publicity stunt for Cole, but my main gripe with this song is not the average delivery, the mediocre sound, or the overrating; it’s the line “Same thing that my nigga Elvis did with Rock ‘N’ Roll”.

This track shows how a large segment of Hip-Hop fans seem to have forgotten about the line from “Fight The Power”; “Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me… Straight-up racist that sucker was simple and plain (motherfuck him and John Wayne)”. I mean, if you ask who the King Of Rock N Roll is; nobody says Chuck Berry. Everybody will answer; Elvis. And if you mention Masta Ace, AZ, Chino XL, Tonedeff; nobody knows who they are, and yet mention Eminem and nobody will acknowledge that his style is an amalgamation of these aforementioned acts. People seem to forget that both Elvis and Eminem (and now Iggy Azalea) have had their thievery and even their prejudice hushed by the mainstream media so minorities can safely buy into a takeover of black music.

Only in contemporary culture would the mainstream media glaze over the fact that a white genre-stealing Elvis is called “My Nigga” in a lyric concerning genre-stealing white performers. Shit, if anything Elvis is “My Honky” to a half-white Cole, but in this day and age where passive offensive slang and safe points of view are rife; who cares about a little irony and a bit of ignorance?

The issue of whitewashing Hip-Hop music is real but this track is not, and J. Cole “joking” about this serious topic (and using incorrect slang in the process) isn’t going to change things, especially by a quick flitting line or two. As long as the music industry keeps promoting mediocre shit, and as long as the so-called credible Artists release underwhelming and confused responses like “Fire Squad”, we’ll end up with yet another Elvis or Eminem wrongly taking the crown. Hey, if that’s the alternative I guess Kendrick is the king.

Black As Cole.

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19 replies »

  1. peopl have lost their minds actin like jcole is the greatest out there and this tracks is the hardest shit out. motherfuckers so lost right now that dumb shit gets praised. ur right.go on twitter and everybody talking like this is some great diss and asking what eminem wil say and shit. elvis my nigga? smh.

    • Exactly, nobody’s heard anything hardcore for years thanks to all the shitty mainstream Hip-Pop, so when a track comes along like this it gets an automatic buzz (even though J. Cole isn’t saying anything new). Fire Squad is only impressive to these Hip-Pop fans who think they know real Hip-Hop.

  2. White acts sell more because there are more of us and we can relate to it better. Elvis was accessible. People back in the day didn’t want to see no stinky black guy looking at our daughters.

    • Fucking hell, you really are a racist cunt. You spend two hours (or more) on this site on a Saturday night like the sad twat you are, and then you leave you’re amazing pillars of wisdom on various articles you apparently don’t agree with (but for some reason persist in reading). You’re the very definition of pathetic.

      The fact that racist white people like you exist, makes my point about not allowing white people in general to say the word “nigga”. You’re the very example that backs up not only this but the A$AP Rocky article too.

      Most dumbfounding of all, is that you prat around and leave a lame prejudice comment like this, and then suddenly you defend Sacha Baron Cohen; who is a Jew. But I guess someone as imbecilic as you doesn’t get irony.

      You pitiful excuse for a human.

    • Seriously though, you couldn’t decipher the sarcasm in “stinky black guy looking at our daughters”? I was parodying the thought process of racist whites in the 1960’s. I got a fucked up sense of humor, but I don’t apologize.

    • Sarcasm? Then what was “White acts sell more because there are more of us and we can relate to it better”? No part of your comment was either funny or sarcastic. Nobody’s asking you to apologise, just to be clearer when you’re apparently trying to be funny.

    • No one wants to hear your racist bullshit! Get the fuck out of here, you prejudice loving cunt!

  3. The word is pronounced N-I-G-G-E-R

    Poor vocabulary is the only difference between the word – ”nigger” – and the slang – ”nigga”.

    #buyadictionarymoron

    • Another racist cunt proving my point. Since odious and hateful fucks like you exist, J. Cole and any other black person really shouldn’t be calling any white person “My Nigga”. And by the way hashtags don’t work here, maybe buy a slang dictionary next time you’re out shopping for white sheets.

    • Black people should not be using the n-word or its variants in any form of media because it simply gives racist whites a license to use the word under the guise of repeating after someone black. Its like the movie called “chink” which was made and produced by asian americans but after numerous complaints from the Asian american community was renamed to “#1 serial killer”. You should look on the letter that APAMC sent to the producers:

      We acknowledge the important issue of the psychological impact of overt racism and subtle discrimination against Asian Americans that your film “Chink” explores. Many members of the APAMC, however, find the choice of a slur as the title of the film objectionable and believe it will have negative repercussions for the Asian American/Pacific Islander community. (Please note that APAMC member Visual Communications recuses itself from this letter.)

      When slurs such as “chink” or “gook” are used in the movie itself, they are embedded in dialogue and context that allow the audience to perceive their pejorative intent and psychological impact. But as a movie title, listed among the offerings at a film festival or on a theatre marquee, “Chink” is stripped from this mediating context. This can be particularly problematic given the general public’s continued ignorance and use of anti-Asian slurs in connection with egregious acts such as bullying, harassment, abuse, and other forms of hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at school, work, and in other social spaces, including the Internet.

      For the general viewer who lacks awareness of the offensive nature of anti-Asian slurs, seeing “Chink” as a title of a movie without any further explanation can continue to desensitize them to this terminology. Even worse, for those who are looking for ways to excuse their own racism, it can have a permissive impact, especially if the title is coming from Asian American filmmakers. While there may not be total agreement in our community on this practice, as in the case of using the N-word, the majority of African American individuals likely would find it unacceptable to even say the word let alone to use it in any form of discussion. It is not the intent of the APAMC to insist on political correctness or to be the word police. Nevertheless, we believe that the use of racial slurs, apart from a specific context, must be consistently and firmly checked.

      Having made our point, we commend you for your commitment to exploring and redefining Asian American identity and community through filmmaking. We respectfully believe, however, that there is a way to explore those themes without inadvertently sending the message that anti-Asian racial slurs are acceptable for the general public to use. We would like the opportunity to have a dialogue with you to better understand your motivations and to address our concerns arising out of the racialized violence and systemic oppression that is inherent in the word “chink.”

    • Exactly, I don’t get why all artists don’t acknowledge what will happen when their product is sold to white people. Take Chris Rock’s “there’s a difference between black people and niggers” routine. That’s okay for him to say to other black people, but when your audience is split between black and white what do you think will happen? …Some white people will begin to think it’s okay to say “nigger” because hey, Chris Rock said there’s a distinction between black people and “niggers”. The same thing applies to people like Omid Djalili and Russell Peters; say something about your culture that would be “funny” to other people within that culture is okay, it’s entirely different performing the same routine to a white audience. In the same way the word “nigga” in Hip-Hop didn’t matter in the eighties as the audience was predominantly black, but these days it’s white. When you realise that, surely these rappers should stop saying that shit, because the end result is white people thinking it’s fine to say that word.

  4. J Cole isn’t saying anything. Throughout most of the song, J Cole was bragging about himself. So what was the point in saying “white people snatched the sound”?

  5. On to the topic of white privilege:
    Eminem represents white privilege. Eminem is not a bad rapper, but would he have gotten where he is if he was black? In White America, Eminem even said that “let’s do the math/if I was black, I would have sold half”. I’m convinced that he is the modern day elvis. When do you see a black rapper get that much success? Let alone a black rapper who is sexist and homophobic? Cypress Hill made some homophobic statements and their music was never played on the radio ever again. Yet why is Eminem given a free pass for Foolish Pride? That should have been the end of his career. Yet media gives him free pass. They are the same people who demonised Tupac as a bad influence on children. Yet after he died the media starting calling him a “misunderstood genius” and promoted his posthumous albums. So a black person only would become a icon when they are dead?Chris Brown beat up Rihanna and the media was constantly on his ass. I’m not a fan of Chris Brown, but why all focus on him and not someone like Charlie Sheen? Being white allows you to get away with phenomenal amount of shit. Why was Quentin Tarantino allowed to use the word “nigga” in all his movies? Why was Eminem never called out for his racist song? Why did Forbes say that Iggy Azalea “runs hip hop” after she compared herself to a “runaway slave master”? But I think Eminem is the epitome of white privilege.

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