Back in April, J. Cole, along with other musicians including Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys, Common, and Chance The Rapper to name a few, were invited to the White House to meet with President Obama to discuss opportunities in creating support programs to help young men of color fight racial injustice. Early Monday morning, Cole released a new track titled “High for Hours” via his SoundCloud page, which references among other current political themes, his meeting with President Obama.
The timing for the new track couldn’t be any more perfect with President Obama set to enjoy his last few days in office this week. “High For Hours” did not appear on the rapper’s latest album, 4 Your Eyez Only, which came out last month. Instead, Cole may have been saving the song to come out with a few days left in the Obama administration, as there will certainly be a lot of conversation about the changing of the guard in Washington this week.
“High For Hours,” which can be heard via the SoundClound embed below, starts out immediately addressing heavy political issues such as racism and racially-charged violence, as heard in the lyrics, “American hypocrisy oh let me count the ways/They came here seeking freedom and they end up owning slaves/Justify the use of Christianity which says/Religion don’t mean sh*t there’s too much ego in the way/That’s Why ISIS is a crisis but in reality/This country do the same sh*t take a life and call it righteous.”
As the song continues, Cole addresses his meeting with the President, singing “I had a convo with the President I paid to go and see him/Think about the things I said I say when I would see him/Feeling nervous sittin’ in a room full of white folks/Thinking about the black man probably think I might choke/Nope, raised my hand to ask the man a question/Does he see the struggle of his brothers in oppression?”