Villuminati

Album: Born Sinner (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Cole opens his second album Born Sinner with this warning shot, which features dramatic, soaring strings, a live choir and a pop at Trinidad James:

    "My pops was club-hopping back when clubbing.
    Rick James was out and all I get is Trinidad."

    Cole sees all the women dancing and singing along with Trinidad James' song "All Gold Everything", and despite not feeling it himself, he proceeds to quote from the hook. (Ni—a, Ni—a, Ni—a").

    James refused to be drawn into a beef with Cole over the rapper's diss. "He was just expressing himself," he told MTV News. "Just in general if you really step back and listen to the song, he was just spittin' how he felt and I can't never be mad at somebody spittin' how they feel."
  • Dreamville Records President, A&R, manager and Cole's right hand man Ibrahim "IB" Hamad told Vibe magazine how this track got chosen to open Born Sinner: "A lot of times getting the right intro for an album can be the hardest thing. We went through about five different intro ideas we thought would work but when Cole played us 'Villuminati,' the whole room just knew that was the one. It kicked off the album and let you know from the start, its different this time around."
  • The song samples the intro from R. Kelly's remix for "I Wish" along with The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 single "Juicy." The latter sample incorporates the album title ("Born sinner, the opposite of a winner").
  • Cole reveals on this track that in his younger days his passion for Tupac had him hating on both Jay-Z and the Notorious B.I.G.

    "Pac had a n---- saying f--- Jigga, f--- Biggie
    I was only like 11 so forgive me
    A decade later I be all up in the city trying to get Hov to f--- with me."

    "I used to get into arguments in school all the time," Cole explained on MTV's RapFix. "There was this other kid and he was a big [Jay and Biggie] fan and we used to go head to head. Of course I liked 'Juicy,' but the Pac fan in me was just ridin' against whoever he was ridin' against."

    "I'm 11 [at this point] so I'm riding against everybody," he added. "I ain't even know who Jay was, really. I knew just when Makaveli came out and in those interviews Pac was dissing Jay-Z and them, so I'm doing the same thing — like, 'Jay-Z, you wack!' My man Pac said he's wack, so he's wack. 'Cause that's how this thing works, that's how rap works."

    "I brought that up just to show the irony," he continued. "I was a little kid screaming that, and then I was tryna give him my CD. It's funny how things change. It was just interesting to think that I used to be dissing Jay-Z for no reason."

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