Man, it is SO REFRESHING to have the real back! Fresh off the release of his sixth career #1 album The Off-Season, with all 12 tracks landing within the top 40 slots on Billboard’s Hot 100, J. Cole has given fans a new video for this project’s forth song “a p p l y i n g . p r e s s u r e.” It arrives a week after the music video for the second song “a m a r i.” The visual for “a p p l y i n g . p r e s s u r e” is directed by Dreamville filmmaker Scott Lazer and filmed in gorilla-style as it follows J. Cole casually through NYC at night to a parking garage, a vacant basketball court and on the subway.
Big-ups to Lazer’s mind and eye behind the camera because he used a popular film technique, capturing the artist over and over at different points while utilizing the same frame throughout. This method matched together with Cole’s delivery on this song helps to convey the Fayetville rapper’s versatility, visually. It’s as if through the video, the Dreamville team is telling us, “Oh yeah, incase y’all forgot, this man can bring it from this angle and that angle. Also he can do it from over here too, and over there. Don’t ever get it fucked up.”
The 36-year old can be seen playfully waving his hands as finger-pistols during his “pew! pew! pew!” ad-libs, and even pointing into the camera to the audience during his line “If you’re broke and clowning a millionaire the joke is on you.” A line that has been since quoted heavily and revered as one of the hardest lines on the whole album. It is obvious that even while putting on a lyrical clinic, the platinum-plaque’d-out hip-hop veteran is definitely having fun at this point in his career. The visual even kicks off with Cole bouncing as he steps forward to his left and then back in the opposite direction; a kind of bop that makes you want to get up and try it yourself.
Personally, I love witnessing my favorite MC’s reach a point where they get to live up to the manifestations in their earlier rhymes. I think back to 2013 when J. Cole’s second studio project Born Sinner was released. On this effort lies a standout track with Kendrick Lamar singing the hook, called “Forbidden Fruit”. Cole raps on his third verse, asking, “How many records do a nigga gotta sell just to get the cover on a XXL or Fader?”. Now seven years later, after a mountain of success and with all attention on him, the lyricist graces the cover of SLAM Magazine in its latest issue.
J. Cole has come a hell of a long way from freestyling over Notorious BIG instrumentals in a dorm room at St. John’s. Now, he can be seen sitting on top of a park bench in New York patting his noggin in amazement of how much money he’s actually made. Check out the video for “a p p l y i n g . p r e s s u r e” below!