The Downey Legend

J. Cole’s “ATM” is RAD

Makayla Riley, Writer

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After two years since the release of his album 4 Your Eyez Only, Jermaine Cole, most popularly known as J. Cole, debuted his fifth studio album on April 20 titled KOD. Of the most notable track off the album, “ATM” has received the most attention. In this song he raps about the disillusionment of dollar signs and how chasing benjamins can only lead to destruction. What makes the track worth giving a listen is a sense of being able to relate to such a moral lesson. J. Cole tries to tie in his experience of how chasing money has left him hopeless and empty. As a piano riff softly plays and compliments the 808 beats, J. Cole raps in varying speeds, oftentimes speeding up verses like, “Count it up, count it up, count it up, count it,” to resonate with the sounds of cash. The most exciting part of the song are the verses for its blatant messages. When he says, “I know that it’s difficult/ I’m stackin’ this paper, it’s sort of habitual,” he expresses the temptation that the “slice of Devil’s pie”, an illusion to money, holds on him. Falling for the “big wheels” and “quick thrills” can only fill one with temporary joy, but permanently leave a “hole in your heart”,  as your only intrinsic motive comes from hundred dollar bills. With “ATM” at No. 10 on the Billboard charts, the song has received tremendous success, along with the music video at an estimate of 13 million views on Youtube. Have a listen with the link below and tell us what you think in the comments! “Proceed with caution.”

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The School Newspaper of Downey High School
J. Cole’s “ATM” is RAD