Kevin's Heart

Album: KOD (2018)
Charted: 56 8
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Songfacts®:

  • "Kevin's Heart" finds J. Cole taking on the persona of someone who can't get away from using drugs. He relates his use of Xanax and blunts to the temptation of cheating on his girl.

    Slip me a xanny at once
    I got the earth in a blunt
    I get the skirt when I want


    The song title is a reference to Kevin Hart, who in December 2017 publicly admitted having cheated on his pregnant wife. Cole uses the actor/comedian's infidelity as a metaphor for the irresistible draw of addiction.
  • The Scott Lazer and J Cole-directed video stars Kevin Hart. It follows the comedian running errands and dealing with the disdain of onlookers following his public admission of infidelity. Meanwhile a radio host discusses his scandal on air.

    Lazer told Genius that Cole reached out to him directly to put the project together "When we were first talking about [the video], Cole said that he wanted everywhere that Kevin goes to experience one of two reactions: temptation or scorn," the director explained. "I loved that idea."
  • Cole handled the majority of the production on KOD, with the exception of this track, which was produced by T-Minus, who is also known for his work with Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and guitarist Mark Pellizzer of MAGIC!

    "When I first started 'Kevin's Heart,' I linked up with this guy Mark Pelli. He's a great friend of mine and an incredible guitarist," T-Minus told Genius. "The moment I heard that, I just knew that was something special."

    TT-Minus then added sprinkling effects to Pelli's guitar sound, to give it a different vibe. "I added this effect called Retro Color which I use a lot," he said. "It gives you that vintage feel," he explains. "It doesn't really sound like a guitar. It kinda sounds like a synthetic feel. I just always try to elevate the track to next level, and make the sound interesting."

    The beat also features a sample of Janet Jackson's 1993 slow-paced romp "Any Time, Any Place."
  • J. Cole and Kevin Hart had been pals since meeting backstage at one of Hart's shows in Westchester, New York in the late 2000s. The inspiration for the song came when the rapper was lying in bed with his wife while on vacation in Zanzibar, Tanzania and she came across Hart's Instagram post apologizing for cheating on his pregnant wife. Shocked at the news. Cole and his wife had a long conversation about the nature of relationships and infidelity, a discussion that birthed "Kevin's Heart."
  • So what does Hart think about the song? "I thought it was dope," the comedian told Vulture. "It wasn't done from a hateful or spiteful place. It was done with a smart intent behind it, which I think a lot of Cole's stuff is done."
  • Cole's recording session in Zanzibar, Tanzania was his favorite memory of creating KOD. He tweeted: "Did The Cut Off, Kevin's Heart, FRIENDS and Window Pain back to back to back. Plus Royce feature. Super zone. 'With my son in Tanzanian sun rays thinking bout them days.' I got blessed."

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