While 21 Savage’s A Lot video is my favorite rap video so far this year, J. Cole’s Middle Child is my favorite rap single this year. So of course I was hotly anticipating his video release for the track. Coming off the heels of momentous hip hop videos in 2018 like Childish Gambino’s This Is America, I can understand artists wanting their vids to be creative and have deeper meaning. That being said, I need a decoder ring and a Farmer’s Almanac to figure out what the hell Cole’s Middle Child video is about.

I didn’t feel like nor had the patience to sift through The Internet’s illuminutty comments or talks of satanic symbolisms. If a break down comes directly from Cole then I’ll check it out.

Being honest, I don’t like the video as much as Savage’s ‘A lot’ but it’s still cool.

I like the strobe (lightning) flashes that briefly reveal participants in the back drop in the first part of the video. When the first flash illuminates (the illuminati LOL), Cole is on a red carpet and I didn’t know if he was at an awards show or in church because both (award shows and mega churches) are filled with materialism. The subsequent flashes reveal the same participants’ dead bodies while their shoes are covered in red dirt (clay).

I’m not sure if this was a nod to the title track ‘Middle Child’ being that Cole is in the middle of the red carpet. Also were the scenes to highlight our culture’s over all “red bottom” materialism in addition to how Black folk will kill and die while chasing materialism?

The all-girl marching bad…they smooth as fuck and I assume represents the horns, drums and bass on the track.

Next we see Cole in a hunting lodge which for me is kinda self-explanatory. He has the heads of other rappers mounted on the lodge’s wall. In my opinion the middle head represents the wack-horrible rapper Lil Pump. Just listen to his bubble-gum lyrics on his bullshit song ‘be like me’.

 The mud-bogging in the Bentley SUV (shrugs), Cole in the basket at the grocery store, The Nascar podium scene…I don’t have a clue fam.

The way the white chick walks into the lodge towards the end of the video with the glare in her eye, reminded me of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. I thought she was about to pull out a samurai sword and get-tah-slicin. Then we see the caption “Baby Hair”. Next we see the fake Uma Thurman-Iggy Azalea chick in the grocery store picking up a package of salted Nicki Garbage Black Face. I’m assuming this is representative of cultural appropriation where others (White and Asian folk) mimic and want to be Black while not actually wanting to be Black.

I just poured somethin’ in my cup
I’ve been wantin’ somethin’ I can feel
Promise I am never lettin’ up
Money in your palm don’t make you real
Foot is on they neck, I got ’em stuck
I’ma give ’em somethin’ they can feel
If it ain’t ’bout the squad, don’t give a fuck
Pistol in your hand don’t make you real

Money in your palm don’t make you real
Pistol in your hand don’t make you real
Money in your palm don’t make you real

The lyrics coupled with the video, maybe Cole is saying he’s trapped between old and new school hip hop? Rapping about materialism, money, guns, catching bodies (murder) don’t make you real and we don’t feel anything because we’ve become desensitized?

I appreciate the creativity and artistic value but in my opinion, the lyrics surpass the video.