So yeah, you heard the news, disturbing news
Shot a brother in the head, thank the lord he ain't dead
Was in a coma for months, eyes ain't opened them once

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

Meaning

In cities like New York, you see violence in the news. In this case a man is shot in the head. He survived the shot but been in a coma for months.

Cole may be specifically be recounting the story of Calvin Ogletree, who was shot in the head in Queens on Jan 6, 2012. The bullet stayed lodged in his skull. Calvin’s brother, Kevin, a Dallas Cowboys receiver, is featured on J. Cole’s Born Sinner website giving his take on the occurence and on growing up around the violence in NYC.

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