My Life
by J. Cole (featuring 21 Savage & Morray)

Album: The Off-Season (2021)
Charted: 13 2

Songfacts®:

  • Here, J. Cole and the Atlanta star 21 Savage trade verses about their tough upbringings. Cole recalls his poverty-stricken childhood when family members succumbed to drug addiction.

    I'm just a product of poverty, full of narcotics to profit off quickly
    My family tree got a history of users that struggle with demons
    Not really the hustler instincts
    Therefore, often, my pockets was empty


    21 starts his verse by paying his respects to his late childhood best friend, Johnny B. In 2013, on the rapper's 21st birthday, a rival gang member killed Johnny and shot 21 Savage six times.

    Say what? The stuff that I've seen got me traumatized
    I let the K go when Johnny died
  • The pair previously collaborated when J Cole jumped on 21's smash hit "A Lot." That track won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song at the 2020 ceremony.
  • The North Carolina rapper and singer Morray croons the hook. It borrows the lyrics and melody of Pharoahe Monch's chorus on Styles P 2002 track "My Life."
  • Both Cole and Morray are from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the "Middle Child" rapper is a big supporter of the "Quicksand" singer. This is their first official collaboration.
  • This is one of several tracks on The Off-Season that contains guest contributions. They are the first featured artists on a Cole solo album since 2013's Born Sinner, which contained rhymes from the likes of Kendrick Lamar. Over his next three sets spanning from 2014 Forest Hills Drive to KOD, the North Carolina rapper completely eschewed features.
  • Cole co-produced the track with the Seattle, Washington producer Jake One (Drake's "Furthest Thing," Kehlani's "Can I"). Cole's "Snow On Tha Bluff" collaborator Kelvin "WU10" Woolten supplied additional production.
  • When this song debuted at #2 on the Hot 100 chart, it became Cole's highest charting single in the US, surpassing the #4 peak of "Middle Child."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Graduation Songs

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

Kristian Bush of Sugarland

Kristian Bush of SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.