Grab a paper, hey kid, you gotta pay for that

from J. Cole (Ft. 50 Cent & Bas) – New York Times Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Down in North Carolina they don’t pay for newspapers, or it isn’t every paper that cost something. Since New York holds one of the most IMPORTANT Newsletters & Cost of living you must pay for newspapers.

On the surface this is about Cole grabbing a New York Times and having to pay for it, but it’s also about him moving to New York to make money and get a deal and having to pay his dues in order to do so. So he’s trying to grab “paper” but he’s gotta “pay”.

Additionally, Cole casts himself as a journalist earlier in the verse, so his music could be his version of the New York Times. While Cole wants people to hear about what he’s talking about, he does need to be paid for it because otherwise he won’t be able to support himself and continue to report/make music.


Hey kid you gotta pay for that is also a reference to older cartoons and comic books where news stand owners would harmlessly shake there fists at kids passing by just grabbing a newspaper.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “New York Times” by J. Cole (Ft. 50 Cent & Bas) Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box