J. Cole – High For Hours (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)


Martin Luther King Jr. Day passed away and J. Cole decided to speak his mind and when he does, a lot of people get hurt. “High For Hours” is J. Cole’s latest track about the oppression that happens daily in white America. He also talks about when he met Barack Obama and discusses the same issues he raps about in this track.

“High For Hours” is produced by Cam O’bi and Elite.

Listen to “High For Hours” by J. Cole

The lyrics are quite simple and crisp on this track and the flow is smooth. However, it is interesting to see what J. Cole has to say in these lyrics.

Review of the lyrics and meaning of the song “High For Hours”

The song’s intro sets the pace…

That’s called being high as sh*t, for hours
That’s the name of this song, nigga
“High as Sh*t for Hours”
Here we go, yeah

Metaphorically, the singer goes into a lucid dream state to get these lines out. Getting high as shit helps him kick everyone and everything else would have been a second guess.

Verse 1

American hypocrisy, oh, let me count the ways
They came here looking for freedom
Then they end up owning slaves
Justified Using Saving Christianity

America is shrouded in hypocrisy that no one knows what’s right and wrong anymore – the singer can’t even count the ways people are hypocrites.

White men came to seek freedom in America and enslaved the natives and then the blacks. Most of these cruel acts were committed in the name of religion.

Later in the same first verse, J. Cole voices his opinion on terrorism in “High For Hours”.

Do you remember when bin Laden was killed, supposedly?
In a hotel lobby after a show, I noticed
These white ladies watch CNN, cover the action
They read the title and then they all started clapping
As if LeBron had just scored a basket at the buzzer
I stood there for a second, watched them smack each other
For real? I thought it was “You shall not kill”

Al-Qaeda leader Bin Laden was “allegedly” killed by the US Navy on his home soil and people cheered and cheered as the news of his death hit the media. Should people really celebrate the death of a person when religion teaches “Thou shalt not kill” – the same religion we have obeyed so well to enslave people. Bin Laden was a “terrorist” because he was pushed in these circumstances, mainly by the United States itself.

J. Cole also addresses the countless police brutalities and even murders of African Americans in recent years.

But the police still loose niggas in the city
Pretending he grabbed a gun
They really think we’re stupid and have a death wish
Now somebody’s son is out of breath

J. Cole talks about his conversation with President Barack Obama on “High For Hours”

I had a chat with the president, I paid to go see him
Thinking about the things I said I’d say when I see him
I feel nervous, sitting in a room full of white people
Thinking about the fate of the black man, I think I might choke
No, I raised my hand and asked a man a question
Does he see the struggle of his brothers in oppression?
And if so, if you have all the power in the weight
As president, what’s stopping you from helping niggas?
Well, I didn’t say “nigga”, but you understood my drift
He looked me in the eye and spoke and he was pretty quick
He broke down the issues and showed me he was well aware
I felt like he was sincere and brother cared
But man, you on the chair, what’s wrong with you?
He said, “There are things I want to fix
But you know that shit, nigga: politics.

I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the events in the lines above, but J. Cole says the highest powers in the land are too unable to lift a finger on these issues that concern him.

J. Cole met Barack Obama – he had to pay for the meeting, he was surrounded by white people (probably the ticket was very expensive) and he raised the tough questions that would sting the same people inside this room.

According to J. Cole, even the President of the United States is aware of the “situation” unfolding in the country. So J. Cole asks the next tough question: If he knows what’s going on, why doesn’t he get directly involved? Well, then comes the bitter “political” response. It’s a difficult balance that keeps everyone in a country happy for 8 years. But that’s not a valid excuse. If Abraham Lincoln turned a blind eye to slavery in his day, it would be much worse now.

In verse 3 of “High For Hours”, J. Cole talks about a much-needed change…

Take a deeper look at history, it’s here to be distinguished
See, the people at the top, they do just what they want
Until after a while the people down there finally get smart
Then they start shouting “Revolution!” »

People sitting in big, mighty seats enjoy their luxury in an “ignorance is bliss” state until the little people unite and cry out for their needs. That’s when powerful people wake up and actually do something.

So when you talk about revolution
Dawg, I just hear what you say
What’s the point of taking over
When will we know what you’re going to do?
The only real revolution is happening right inside of you

This is important and real wisdom here. J. Cole calls for a revolution, but what does a revolution do? Change the oppressor and put someone else in the seat? But if power corrupts, the same happens to the new. It’s a cycle and it has to be changed. The revolution should not be in the street, but only in yourself. Kill greed and then true peace can be achieved.

“High For Hours” ends after the third verse leaving us with a lot to think about. Greed, materialism and consumerism have consumed us all and we are too hypocritical to even notice anything different. It’s one of J. Cole’s most realistic lyrics and a great start to 2017.

If you enjoyed the song “High For Hours” and our lyric annotations, be sure to leave a rating below and share the article with other fans. If you have any corrections or suggestions on the song’s meaning, be sure to comment below and we’ll make it a discussion.

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