High for Hours

Album: single release only (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • This politically charged, contemplative track was dropped by J. Cole on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2017. Cole calls out "American hypocrisy" throughout the country's problematic history and also rhymes about contemporary social issues such as police brutality that "make you want to let go."
  • The lyrics of the second verse center around a meeting Cole had with Barack Obama, as the rapper details what it was like to meet the president:

    I had a convo with the president, I paid to go and see him
    Thinking bout the things I said I'd say when I would see him
    Feeling nervous, sitting in a room full of white folks
    Thinking about the black man plight, think I might choke
    .

    It's likely Cole's conversation took place on April 15, 2016 when he, Alicia Keys, Chance the Rapper, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj and Wale attended a White House sit down with President Obama to discuss criminal justice reform and the My Brother's Keeper Initiative. Cole's recounts how he directly asked the POTUS: "Does he see the struggles of his brothers in oppression?"
  • The song was produced by Chance the Rapper collaborator Cam O'bi and Dreamville in-house producer and Cole's manager Elite who also worked on 4 Your Eyez Only. Elite tweeted: "Cole was zonin wrote like 5 verses in his hotel room on tour text me and @iamCam like i need a beat so we cooked up on the bus."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Bryan Adams

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillian

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillianSong Writing

A Soul Train dancer takes us through a day on the show, and explains what you had to do to get camera time.

Benny Mardones

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.