ATM

Album: KOD (2018)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • This self-produced energetic track finds J. Cole focusing on his relationship with money.

    I want it in physical
    A million dollars, I count up in intervals
    Without it I'm miserable
    Don't wanna fall off so I'm all in my bag
    Thankin' God like it's biblical
    I know it's gon' solve every problem I have


    Though Cole is not known for rocking flashy chains or designer clothes, he reveals here that he still succumbs to the lure of accumulating huge amounts of money.
  • Though the song title does not appear in the lyric, the sound of an Automated Teller Machine (or "ATM") dispensing cash is used throughout to really drive home the monetary theme.
  • The first ever ATM was fitted outside Barclays Bank's branch in Enfield, north London on June 27, 1967. Here are some more ATM facts from The Encyclopedia of Trivia:

    A Scot, John Shepherd-Barron, invented the ATM. Managing director of a security printing firm, De La Rue Instruments, Shepherd-Barron was lying in the bath when the idea of a cash dispenser occurred to him.

    In 1967, a bankers' conference was held in Miami with 2,000 members in attendance. Shepherd-Barron was invited to talk at the conference. As a result, six ATMs were installed at the First Pennsylvania Bank in Philadelphia, the first ever cash machines in America.

    The ATMs in the Vatican City are the only ones in the world to offer Latin as a language display option.

    Antarctica's McMurdo Station, which is where the scientists conduct their research, is the site of a Wells Fargo ATM, one of two such machines operated on the continent. Only one of the ATMs works at a time. The reason for this is so if the working one breaks down, the other can be cannibalized for parts. A repairman also stops by every two years to perform routine maintenance.

    Some Japanese cash machines heat bank notes to 200c for a split second to sanitize them before dispensing them.

    The sound of cash being dispensed at an ATM is fake - it is produced by a speaker to give you the satisfaction of knowing your money is coming.
  • The song's music video was directed by Cole and Scott Lazer, who also filmed the visual for another KOD track, "Kevin's Heart." The clip, which highlights the pitfalls of chasing money, was influenced by the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the Hype Williams-directed promo for Busta Rhymes' 1998 song "Gimme Some More."

    "He's kind of just this money hungry hustler, kind of in the vein of Johnny Depp's character in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," Lazer explained to Genius. "'Gimme Some More' was definitely an inspiration for this video. Cole and I watched that video and were looking at ways that we could adopt some of the things that Hype Williams did so brilliantly."

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