“Exploiting and yours is running out” in Spanish
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Spanish for “and I am the boss”
Cole graduated from St. John’s University magnum cum laude; you couldn’t look down on him if you wanted.
Cole also makes a clever play on words with degrade (D Grade)
also a reference to credit ratings and in particular the loss of the US’s triple A credit rating (Straight A’s, AAA, get it?)
Western Union is a service that allows you wire money to other people around the country. So whenever he got paid, he’d send out money to his friends and family who need it most.
He looked in the Mirror and hes a Mirror Cole(Miracle)
The Man In The Mirror is J. Cole himself, telling him that he can make it. Also an allusion to the legendary, late MJ.
Due to his lack of income, he has to call his mother during the holidays. Which most people hate, because it makes you seem like a freeloader.
If your neck is broken (and you somehow live through it), you literally can’t look back.
Partially due to the big ass cast
A caterpillars final stage of life is to become a butterfly, and the change is so obvious because it first becomes a cocoon
Voli is inviting you watch him “change” (transform), just not in the same stalker mindset as a peeping Tom (no homo)
Reminiscent of Heimlich from A Bug’s Life
It seems like every day there is a bad day or a rainy day. This means bad times. It also leads back to a recurring umbrella/rain theme going on.
He can’t believe he hasn’t made it yet. But he won’t give up. He will keep “drilling” or putting in work like…. well
“Driven like them city streets” not drilling. He’s driven, or motivated, to achieve despite his circumstantial failures.