After his latest album 4 Your Eyez Only was certified gold, J. Cole is already blessing fans with new music. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Fayetteville, North Carolina spitter unleashed “High for Hours,” a contemplative track about revolution, politics, and power.
Over mellow boom-bap production by Elite and Cam O’bi, Cole World reflects on a series of topics. The first verse includes lines about religion, Osama Bin Laden, police brutality, and race. The second focuses on a thought-provoking conversation with President Barack Obama.
“He broke the issues down and showed me he was well aware,” raps Cole. “I got the vibe he was sincere and that the brother cared.” He added Obama’s message here: “Don’t stop fighting and don’t stop believing / You can make the world better for your kids before you leave it.”
With his third verse, Cole goes back to thoughts of revolution. He ponders its effects and claims corruption leads to corruption in a never-ending cycle. Thus, he realizes: “The only real revolution happens right inside of you.”
It’s unclear why Cole chose to release “High for Hours” now. Some believe it is to honor MLK Day. Others feel it could be connected to Obama’s final week in office. Either way, listen to “High for Hours” below.