This thing has been bothering me for a while now.
This summer I kept hearing this song that was sooo west coast, the beat, the vibe, even the way it was rapped, but I didn’t know who’s song it was. At first, it was very seldom it would come on the radio. Gradually, I began to hear it more and more. I thought it was some new artist from out here in LA, but to my surprise it was J. Cole. WTF?!!
The funny thing is that I kept rejecting the fact that it was him every time someone would tell me this. I would ask my friends who are always up on the latest music and they would tell me the same thing every time; in the car or at a party, it never failed. After a while I started to get the side eye -__- from them in my confusion. I have to laugh at myself right now just thinking about the numerous times I heard the song and sincerely thought “hmm, I wonder who this is rapping?” This has gone on for about four months now.
Everytime I hear it in the car I would feel so good and bounce to it as if it were a Dre and Snoop Dogg track from the early 2000s, or even a DJ Quik song. I felt taken advantage of and used when I kept hearing J. Cole’s name. I have nothing against him, after all, he is college educated, from an HBCU at that (I love my HBCUs), and somewhat handsome, but at the end of the day he is not from Cali.
I feel like I sound narrow-minded about this song, but I hold west coast music dear to my heart because it is a specific kind of beat and feel to it. A dip, bounce groove to your two-step happens when you listen to a west coast beat no matter what the song is talking about. The RnB vibe is always tied to a west coast song, even if its subconscious. So, here I am doing my sacred west coast/Cali groove to J. Cole’s “Work Out” and I feel deceived deep in my heart.
Finally, this week I received it in my spirit that this was J. Cole’s song. LOL
*Side Note: I’m not a huge music person, but I do feel that sometimes California rappers don’t get their just do and then here comes J. Cole benefiting from us. I’m not even going to mention Wiz Khalifa’s “I Roll Up”…*
Okay, so after accepting it in my heart that this is J. Cole’s song I go to my Dell Notebook, in hopes that the video has some palm trees and a beach in it. I even cross my fingers for a low-rider or two. Once again, I’m thoroughly disappointed while looking at the video on YouTube, this negroe is on a basketball court in grimy a$$ New York- Brooklyn to be exact. Once again, WTF?!
Hold up! I have love for New York, don’t jump down my back. I’m actually trying to live there, but that is neither here nor there. The video just hurt my soul, slowly; seeing him on the basketball court, then that house party scene (not even at a club) #Icant. I guess I should appreciate the Los Angeles Raiders snapback he wears in the video though, right?
All jokes aside, the video doesn’t do the song justice at all anyway. Let me retract that house party scene comment, I understand the logic behind it now.
I have love for J. Cole and his recent come up. This is in no way a diss to him or his music. This is merely about my love for my city, Los Angeles, and how near and dear it is to my heart, especially the music.
The reason for this tangent is to also let you know that I got over all my preconceived notions about the song, finally. I can now fully enjoy the song and dance/ groove to it because I have accepted it for what it is, a great song by J. Cole. I can’t lie, I really enjoy the song and feel good while listening to it, although the lyrics are slightly distasteful- talking about a one night stand smh. So, don’t be surprised if you see me dancing to it at a party or gathering.
P.S. the song was produced by J. Cole and samples Kanye West “New Workout Plan” and Paula Abdul “Straight Up”
What have you had trouble accepting? How do you feel about the song “Work Out” and its west coast feel? Any other feelings come to mind with this song?