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Meaning of ‘m y . l i f e’ by ‘J. Cole’ feat. 21 Savage, Morray

Released: 2021

Features: 21 Savage, Morray

“m y . l i f e” by J. Cole, featuring 21 Savage & Morray, is a gritty exploration of the pain, survival, and triumph that marks the journey through poverty, hustle, and eventual success. The lyrics whisper an audacious tale of resilience and ascendance, showcasing the realities of life in rough neighborhoods and the power of music as an escape.

Opening with Morray’s resounding chorus, the song sets the tone for a raw confessional about bittersweet survival. Then the narrative unfolds through the verses. J. Cole reveals his struggles growing up in poverty, painting vivid imagery with the lines like “Spiralin’ up, just like a rich nigga staircase,” implying his slow but steady rise to success. He talks about the desperation that drove him to envy those around him. The line “You niggas just cubs, but no, not the ones in the big leagues” speaks to those still stuck in the game while he’s playing on a higher level.

Cole asserts his successful evolution through the line “After The Fall Off, I promise I’m comin’ to sellin’ out Wrigley’s”, promising that his music will create major waves in the industry. He also references his upbringing with the line “Nigga, I’m just a product of poverty, full of narcotics to profit off quickly”, signifying how he conquered adversities to attain his current status.

21 Savage switches the narrative by introducing a darker aspect, discussing the violence he encountered and his reaction to it. Lines like “The stuff that I’ve seen got me traumatized” and “We don’t participate, ain’t with that squashin’ shit / All we believe in is homicide” paint a picture of a grim reality where conflicts are resolved with guns, not words. He admits that his emotional wounds from the past shape his present, reinforcing his relentless hustle.

He also talks about the lessons from his parents and how it shaped him. The lines, “I blame my pops for that shit / ‘Cause if he didn’t fail, he could’ve corrected me” and “Give all the props to my momma / ‘Cause no matter what, she always protected me (on God)” acknowledges the impact of his parents on his life and how it influenced his choices.

Lastly, the common thread in the song is the chorus, contributing a deeper introspective angle to the narrative. Morray’s lines, “My life is all I have / My rhymes, my pen, my pad” highlights hip-hop’s therapeutic essence, allowing them to make sense of their lives and experiences. It’s a testament to their evolution, asserting that they’ve made it through the pain and strife as they continue to tell their stories through their music.

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