No Role Modelz

“No Role Modelz” is a song written by J. Cole, featured on his album 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

No Role Modelz

J. Cole portrays multiple themes is this song, and I am going to focus on two of them.

The first theme that I am going to focus on is the one of lack of male role models. J. Cole immediately addresses this by saying,

“First things first: rest in peace Uncle Phil

for real

you the only father that I ever knew”

This is an allusion to a TV show called “Fresh Prince of Bellaire”, in which a character named Uncle Phil looks after a young boy for the large duration of his childhood due to him not having a father figure. J. Cole immediately addressing Uncle Phil shows the importance to him of a male figure who stepped up as a parental figure. The line “you the only father that I ever knew” implies that he did not have a male parental figure growing up, and the fact that he relied on a TV show to gain a positive male influence shows the lack of a male parental figure in his life, and how important it is to have one.

He shows his belief on how important it is to have a male parental figure when he says “I get my b**** pregnant I’ma be a better you.” His desire to be an outstanding Dad for his child displays his belief in importance of a strong Dad in a boy’s life.

J. Cole develops another theme by attacking the people in Hollywood, specifically woman. He develops a theme that some women are good individuals and respectable, but that most aren’t, and that is takes a smart man to decipher and decide between the two. While the theme and the way he portrays it is definitely condescending towards women, he also talks about how men, including himself, play into this role and make it possible for women who he morally attacks to be prosperous.

The main chorus of this song demonstrates this perfectly,

“Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.

Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.

Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.

Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.”

The repetition shows how he believes the majority of woman do not deserve to be “saved” in Hollywood.

J. Cole tells a story about an encounter he has with a woman in Hollywood that he believes to be morally poor.

“Out in Hollywood bringin’ back five or six hoes

F*** ’em then we kick ’em to the do’, n****, you know how it go

She deserved that, she a bird, it’s a bird trap

You think if I didn’t rap she would flirt back?

Takin’ off her skirt, let her wear my shirt, ‘fore she leave

‘I’ma need my shirt back'”

In this excerpt he dehumanizes the women he had a sexual experience by calling them birds in order to enforce that idea that the majority of women in Hollywood do not deserve the type of respect you would give to an ordinary person. It is clear he believes they are only talking to him because he is famous, and want to attach themselves to him, which he symbolizes him preventing by taking his shirt back.

In this excerpt J. Cole shows how he feels “these type” of women should be treated, but then shows how men feed into this role and make it possible. In another sexual encounter with a women,

“Last night I was gettin’ my feet rubbed by the baddest b****

Not Trina but I swear to God, this b****’ll make you call your girl up

And tell her, ‘Hey, what’s good?

Sorry I’m never comin’ home, I’ma stay for good'”.

This experience shows how he plays into the role that allows morally poor women to thrive by choosing a girl that he finds extremely attractive over a girl that has a good personality. This shows that attractiveness can take a women very far in the lifestyle that he lives, because famous men like him prioritize it so much.

2 thoughts on “No Role Modelz

  1. Clark T.

    I really like how you talk about the important themes that are in this song. J Cole is known as one of the best rappers of all time and almost all of his songs portray some sort of message. Knowing this, you did a great job of describing the specific theme that you though he laid out in this song. This is one of my favorite songs ever and I think that you did a great job breaking it down and also explaining how it is poetry.

    Like

  2. ELEANOR R

    I really liked how you mentioned the allusion to the prince of Belair in your analysis. After hearing this song I think that this detail is frequently missed and it adds a lot of meaning to the song. I also liked how you talked about how the main chorus of the song and the repetition of that verse serves to develop one of the overarching themes.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s