Everybody Dies | J. Cole

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Everybody Dies | J. Cole

Jonathan Shead

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For most of 2016, J. Cole has stayed out of the Hip-Hop spotlight. Cole hasn’t made any new music since 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and after his announcement to not perform live back in October, fans questioned when they would hear from the rapper again.

It seems that although he took a backseat for much of the year, he’s still been critical of what’s happening in the world of Hip-Hop — and his recent single “Everybody Dies” is a clear indication of that.

“Everybody Dies” fuses tropes of authenticity and conflict, and passes critical judgement on everyone in the rap industry from “the OG gatekeep rappers” to the “lil’ whatevers” and everyone in between. Cole, who rebrands himself as the “Mr. Burn Suckers,” takes jabs at everyone in the industry who he feels isn’t authentically producing Hip-Hop like he is.

As the song moves from start to finish, Cole amplifies his criticism of today’s rappers, and the industry as a whole, to the point that he exclaims he’s undoubtedly one of the greats. Whether there is merit to Cole’s criticism or not is yet to be fully addressed.

For now though, I think we can all agree we’re happy to have some new J. Cole music to add to our library this winter.