Abraham Elizondo

Professor Ramos 

ENG 102

17 October 2019

What are Friends for ?

In J.Coles, “FRIENDS”, there is a lot of emotions that he expresses, J.Cole mainly wrote this song to talk about addict and is writing it towards his people so that they can stand up and look forward to more than just drugs. He wrote this song in a third person view so that he is not directing it towards anybody specific, but he is directing it towards his own community, and himself to a certain extent also the rest of the “broken communities”. 

J.Cole claims that the communities have gotten so bad that kids are trying drugs and no one is caring about it. He takes charge and calls out the “Ville” and says “Feeling like the only one that made it and I hate it, For my n****s,’cause they ain’t got ambition, F*** did you expect? You can blame it on condition, Blame it on crack, you can blame it on the system, Blame it on the fact that 12 got jurisdiction or the fact that every black boy wanna be Pippen”. The reason he is sending a message to the audience is because he cares about his people, which are his friends and he is looking out for them. J.cole is using logos in this song to convince his community and his friends, so that they can stop the drug addict, he involves reasoning behind it by saying “you know just how it goes in our community keep that shit inside, it don’t matter how hard it be! Fast forward them kids is grown and they blowin’ trees and poppin’ pills due to chronic anxiety”. He continues to go on about how he knows its a problem in the community but the main thing he focuses on is sending logic to his audience so that they can realize that is a reality and not just a song but a real life struggle that goes on in different neighborhoods, including his own. 

J.cole writes most of his songs for the audience and aims more for the youth because he wants to knock some sense into the generation because the generation has gotten out of hand and he is also a wise person and most of the music industry look up to him not because he’s one of the oldest but he gives good advice. The reason is because most of the rap artists are really young now and days and range from 16-25 year olds and are barely coming into the real world. According to the addiction center more than 90 percent of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old. Now, 90 percent that is absurd, so now we know why J.cole is trying to be a leader in the communities. But not only is he a leader but he uses his craft to motivate and teach his audience for the better. Also a study by addiction center states that in 2018, 13 percent of 8th graders, 27 percent of 10th graders, and 35 percent of 12th graders had used marijuana at least once in the past year. Less than 1 percent of 8th graders, about 3 percent of 10th graders, and about 5 percent of 12th graders reported using it every day. These  are all young ages using drugs and is a higher risk of becoming an addict, this isn’t right because these kids should be worried about learning and they aren’t ready for drugs to take a huge impact in their lives. Personally I don’t think that age group should be doing any type of substance because their minds have not fully developed. Even though most teenagers don’t care about their mental health, we can encourage them and provide a better path for them and I think the music is one of them. Therefore, J.coles music not only sounds good to most young people but has actual meaning to it and is done on purpose for the youth and the communities.

Not only is the song “friends” about addiction but it’s about encouraging the audience and create some type of movement whether it impacts many people’s lives or one persons life. This song has a deeper meaning than just a beat and that’s how j.cole is as an artist, he helps people and cares for the world not only about making money. Like I said before, he uses logos to provide logic and reasoning in his song, but he also uses pathos by the involvement of emotions that he brings into the music. He uses emotion in the song friends by saying that this is a problem that he has been aware of but no action has been taken place by anybody. He includes saying “ I love you ‘cause you my friend without the drugs I want you to be comfortable in your skin, I know you so I know you still keep a lot of shit in, you running from yourself and you buyin’ product again, I know you say it helps, and no I’m not tryna offend but I know depression and drug addiction don’t blend”. In that verse j.cole really sounds like he is directing it towards someone specifically but he really isn’t, he is directing towards the “addicts” and he involves his own emotion and applies it to the music he makes. The reason he involves so much emotion to his music and the song friends is because he wants the audience to feel where he is coming from and why he is rapping about the issue. He also is persuading the audience so that they can realize the issue and stand up from addiction. 

In conclusion, J.cole uses both logos and pathos in this song and the reason he makes the music he makes is because it has an impact on the culture and society, he has many fans around the world but one thing that stands out is that he is one of the leaders for this generation. The lesson I took from the song friends is that drug addiction isn’t a joke and the gernation of artist have been making songs based off of sex, money, and drugs but j.cole is one of the only ones being a leader and showing the youth the right way and not making music for the money but for the impact and for the people. Now I know not everyone listens to rap but at least for the people that do listen to it know j.cole and how he has impacted the generation in a positive way of trying to speak with his voice since his voice is heard around the world unlike the average person with an opinion. But the lesson everyone should take from the song friends is that no matter what pain or struggle you are facing in life, don’t block it with drugs because it is true that drugs are only a temporary pain killer, but the fact is that you still have to face your problems and the sad truth is that most of us will always be facing a problem in our lives. So it is our own decision to make whether or not you want to be an addict or find a better way to live. Overall, what we should all take away from this song is to be looking out for others and not only for ourselves but for those in need of help of addiction and even though we can only help so much, the least we can do is be a friend. 

Works Cited

Genius Lyrics. Friends. J.Cole. Pub. April 20, 2018. 

Addiction Center. Drug abuse statistics. Addiction Statistics. Pub. August 28, 2019.