J. Cole is checking in with new work for 2019. It’s been teased for weeks that he would soon provide the streets with new heat, and now it’s here. “Middle Child” seems like the perfect tone-setter coming off the success of 2018’s KOD release – certified platinum. With a chorus that reminds us all that “money in your palm don’t make you real” and “pistol in your hand don’t make you real”, J. Cole continues to be the unique lyrical contrarian in a game steeped with fakers and Instagram gangstas.

The track comes in with an impressive horn display that serves as the backdrop for the whole piece – a sound similar to that of Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”, if you feel me. The track pairs a mid-tempo flow with simple highs, blended with a soft rapid-fire lyrical display from J. Cole. Not sure if it will end up making the album, but if so, it should make a good opening salvo.

I give “Middle Child” by J. Cole 3 out of 5 Daggers. It’s a fresh rhyme display, but it does not Draw Blood.

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