J. Cole isn't playing around. On Jeezy's "American Dream," the Fayetteville MC raps like he's heard every "Kendrick Lamar vs. Cole" debate and is here to put all arguments to rest. Fans might be disappointed to learn that only Jeezy and J. Cole contribute full verses, while Lamar provides a short outro. Don't despair, because Cole more than makes up for it.
J. Cole seems to have missed the memo that Kendrick was going to take this one easy. Over an apocalyptic beat, Cole raps about the fallacies of the American dream as it pertains to African-Americans. Cole's lyrics are the equivalent of Tupac going back in time and writing The Great Gatsby instead of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Lyrically, the highlight of his verse comes towards the middle when Cole spits about the appearance vs. reality of modern rapping.
Turn on the TV, see these n----s that trap on the CD
Meanwhile, back home, my n----s sell crack in the BP
Hoping one day they can be the
Niggas is there on the screen
Cause that's the American Dream
Not to be outdone, Jeezy has a message to Trump during the closing of his verse — "First my President was black, now my President is wack / I ain't never going broke, what's American in that."
In a surprising move, Kendrick decides to sing the bulk of his verse as he repeats the lines, "I gotta eat, I gotta, make money with / I gotta feast, I gotta rely on what is known to the traveling man."
We're probably never getting a Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole project, but songs like "American Dream" give some semblance of hope.