Now I'm Cobain with a shotgun aimed at my brain
Cause I can't maintain no more
This is a reference to Mobb Deep’s track ‘'Just Step Prelude’‘ which states:
I gotta maintain ‘cause stress on the brain
Can lead to a motherfuckin suicide thang
Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of the band ‘Nirvana’. He committed suicide with a shotgun after struggling with depression and drug addiction for some time. Kurt also died at the same age as Basquiat (who is also referenced in this song)– Age 27. They both died depressed by fame.
This whole song’s theme is Cole’s love/hate relationship riches, fame and the temptations that come with them.
Here, Cole’s talking about the constant battle between the good & evil inside him, as goes his motto for himself ‘set of horns & a halo’.
If you are a big fan you’ll realise this battle is prominent throughout all his work since he came to fame. This battle is not only to do with the materialistic temptations but the musical temptations also, a lot of artists are compromising their talent just to make ignorant music because it sells more records. That being said he compares himself to Kurt Cobain. In Cobain’s suicide note, shown below, he mentions how the music industry sucks the joy and meaning out of the artists music:
All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the, shall we say, the ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has proven to be very true. I haven’t felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit "Rich Niggaz" by J. Cole Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box