Lights Please

So now we in the hotel
Mirrors on the ceilin’
She say she wanna blow L’s
I hear her and I’m willin’
But everytime I smoke well a nigga mind gone
So that every word I spoke well I’m tryin’ to put her on
But she couldn’t hear me
I told her all about how we been livin’ a lie
And that they’d love to see us all go to prison or die
Like baby look at how they show us on the TV screen
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans
Then all I really want is for her to get on top
Before you know it she workin’ jerkin’ it non stop
And all that next shit I was previously talkin’
Is now that wet shit that I’m currently lost in
And while that sweat drip I am reminded
All the times my brother told me that pussy is blindin’
I’m findin’ the more I grow the more y’all stay the same
Don’t even know the rules but yet y’all tryin’ to play the game
And ain’t it shameful how niggas blame hoes for givin’ birth
To a baby that took two to make
Coward nigga you a fake
How gon’ look in your sons face and turn your back
Then go start another family dog what type of shit is that?
She said it’s okay
Rubbed my head and told me to relax
Laid a nigga down proper like she was recordin’ tracks
Said I know you wanna change the world
But for the night please
Just reach over and hit the lights please

There are countless feminist critiques of Hip Hop that problematize the overly sexual positions of womyn in lyrics and videos. J. Cole’s account of his attempts to treat a womyn as an agent of consciousness offers a real experience of something that feminists would, more or less, like to see from Hip Hop music. Reminiscent of Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up,” Cole camouflages his sincere disproval of situations that continue to be themes in the Black community. Although his lover insists on dimming the lights, her actions cannot silence the animosity he has for fleeing men. I return to my use of “more or less” a few sentences above to address the elements of Cole’s verse that are still deserving of a feminist criticism. Yes he does use the “hoes” but it’s not an endorsement of it. Rather, and this is what makes the verse dope, he’s mimicking the voice of men that are incapable of having relationships that transcend the carnal make-up of the two people involved. Hence the line, “the more I grow the more y’all stay the same,” which is inspired by thoughts of Cole’s brother, who once told him that, “pussy is blinding”. These cats that disrespectfully see womyn as hoes fail to understand love; that love is an extrovert state, meaning that the affect between two people should spill out as energy intent on the liberation of their people. Otherwise Cole wouldn’t try to explain how America uses racism as a resource:  “I told her all about how we been livin’ a lie/ And that they’d love to see us all go to prison or die”.