J. Cole Channels Black Icons Ahead Of “Middle Child” Release

J. Cole recently wiped his Instagram account clean, elevating the hype around his upcoming music. As fans wait to hear “Middle Child,” which is set to drop tonight, they can fill their minds with sounds that might have inspired Cole’s new productions. The Dreamville head uploaded a few clips featuring iconic Black artists Bob Marley and James Baldwin as well as First Choice, a 70s group from Philly.
The clip of James Baldwin was stripped from a filmed conversation he had with Nicki Giovanni. It aired on PBS in 1943 and its transcription was eventually published as a book called A Dialogue. Cole’s selection deals with a paradigm shift in Black America’s mind, according to Baldwin.
“No matter what our hang-ups are […] The hang-up of my generation and the hang-up of your generation, and the terrible situation in which all of us find ourselves, one thing has changed.” Balwin note. “And that is the attitude Black People have towards themselves.”
“It’s not the world that was my oppressor only,” he continues. “What the world does to you…the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do it to yourself. You become a collaborator.”
A clip of Bob Marley, ‘s stance on fame was also uploaded to J’s IG account. In the footage, the reggae legend warns against letting your “mind swell,” explaining that he does not consider himself to be a famous person.
Lastly, an old school track was added to the mix, which may indicate a potential sample used in J. Cole’s next joint. Listen to “Wake Up To Me” by First choice below.