Lion King On Ice

Album: Lewis Street (2020)
Charted: 65 51

Songfacts®:

  • Simba is the principal character of Disney's The Lion King franchise. A young lion prince, he is eager to take his place as King of the Pride Lands. J Cole has dubbed himself "Young Simba" several times, contrasting his come-up to the fictional lion's own tale of redemption.

    Here, Cole returns to his Young Simba alter ego to discuss his experience growing up in Fayetteville, his years as a broke student in New York, and the struggles and sacrifices he made to climb the rap ranks with "blood on my hands."
  • Celebratin' all your first downs like they touchdowns, bring a price
    Young Simba had a buss down, yeah, the Lion King on ice


    Disney on Ice is a series of ice skating shows that celebrate Disney's animated characters, including Simba and Nala from The Lion King. However, in terms of this song, "ice" means jewelry, as a "buss down" is slang for an expensive, iced-out watch.
  • Cole adopted the persona of Young Simba early in his rap career, beginning with his 2007 song "Simba." He continued the moniker with such cuts as "Grown Simba" in 2009 and "Sideline Story" in 2011. Prior to "Lion King On Ice," Cole last used the alter ego on 2013's "Heads Bussa."
  • J Cole co-produced "Lion King On Ice" alongside:

    T-Minus, who is a producer from Ajax, Ontario signed to Drake's OVO Sound. His previous instrumentations for J Cole include "Kevin's Heart" and "Middle Child."

    Atlanta beatmaker Jetsonmade, who is best known for his productions for DaBaby ("Suge" and "Bop") and Jack Harlow ("What's Poppin").
  • Cole released this along with "The Climb Back" as two singles bundled together as an EP titled Lewis Street.

    Lewis Street is named after a street in Fayetteville where Cole grew up. The rapper was born at an American military base in Frankfurt, Germany, but after his soldier father abandoned the family, his mom relocated with Jermaine and his brother to Fayetteville, North Carolina. They lived at 807 Lewis Street until they moved about a mile away to 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Cole titled his third album after his Forest Hills address.
  • In April 2017, Lil Pump previewed a Smokepurpp-produced song titled "F--k J. Cole." The Fayetteville rapper responded a year later with "1985 (Intro to "The Fall Off")," in which he warns the two Miami rappers about their pill-popping lifestyle. During this song, Cole continues the conversation, addressing their dissing him and their falling sales.

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