J. Cole Says "Rich Niggaz" Stemmed From Bitterness & Jealousy
J. Cole comments on the contrasting thoughts on "Rich Niggaz," says he usually doesn't know where a record will go when he starts writing it.
North Carolina rapper J. Cole recently offered a breakdown of his Born Sinner record “Rich Niggaz” during an interview with Hardknock TV and revealed that the song is one filled with ironies and other contrasting thoughts. Additionally, Cole says the song is also a result of the feelings of bitterness and jealousy he harbored towards those not struggling financially.
The Roc Nation emcee also provided some insight into how he creates records, stating that he doesn’t necessarily know what direction a song will go in until he’s started writing it.
“Understand that when I start writing I don’t always know where it’s headed maybe until midway through the first verse or something,” said Cole. “So, the first thing I write is ‘I hate rich niggas. God damn it. Cause I ain’t never had a lot, damn it.’ And it’s perfect that that came out because the thought that’s been in my head or was in my head at the time was like—like I told you earlier, I used to have such a problem with like with people with money. It was almost a bitterness and a jealousy. Because my mom gotta work so hard. You know what I mean? And in my eyes, your father’s rich. Your mom don’t even gotta work. You drive a Benz.”
Cole later spoke in-depth on the ironies and contrasting thoughts addressed on “Rich Niggaz.” At one point on the song he questions if he’s becoming the money hungry rapper he once criticized as he raps, “You ain't crazy, motherfucker, you're just afraid of change/That's new, maybe that's true/But listen here I got a bigger fear/Of one day that I become you.”
On “Rich Niggaz,” he also references the fact that he’s biracial and the irony of now having money.
“It was like a real feeling for me, which is kinda weird because there’s people that I used to live around, but now that we moving to a better neighborhood they looking at me like ‘Yo nigga, y’all got two cars and you got your own bedroom now’…It’s ironic cause now I have money,” said Cole. “I’m at that level now. You know what I mean? I’m one of them. My kids are gonna be one of them. So, it’s that battle. The whole song though I just took that approach of ironies. ‘Half cracka, but a nigga too.’ It was a time when my mom was delivering pizzas for just extra income. So, she had to deliver mail, come back home, change her clothes, and go deliver pizzas. And I used to be so scared cause she was delivering…you delivering pizza in the projects at night. I know how niggas do. I know the game.”
J. Cole’s sophomore album Born Sinner was released on June 18 and consequently put the album directly up against fellow rapper Kanye West’s Yeezus album. Despite surpassing album sales for Yeezus as of September of this year, Cole revealed that he’s in it for the music and not the accolades.
“I don’t live for the accolades," Cole said during an interview with Noisey in September. "I’m more so about the music. Making it, and putting it out. Those are the two best feelings.”