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Reflection & Author's Purpose

We will analyze "Breakdown" by J. Cole and decipher the author's purpose as well as how he reflects.

Dawn Reeves

on 2 November 2012

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Transcript of Reflection & Author's Purpose

-J.COLE "Breakdown" Background Look, I just shed tears homie and now I ain't too proud to admit it, just seen my father for the first time in a minute; and when I say a minute I mean years man.

A whale could have swam in them tears fam, cause as I left them I reflected on my younger days.

When it was just me and my brother and my mother played Father, cause no other man bothered; not even my biological, it never seemed logical

But I accepted it cause I ain't know no better
Thought I was brighter than a Polo sweater.
No pops was like Martin with no Coretta
So many things you could have told me
And saved me the trouble of lettin' my mistakes show me

I feel like you barely know me

And that's a shame cause our last name is the same,
That blood type flowin' through our veins is the same

My mama left you and maybe your anger's to blame,
But that's no excuse, only you and God know the truth,
And why you only call monthly, barely ever saw me,
Spend some summers with you and played with my cousin Maury

Maybe I should be tellin' you ---- cause you selfish,
But I want a father so bad, I can't help it Notes/Questions *Imagery- whale swimming in the "sea of tears"
*Reflective of his childhood
*Single parent household (mother)
*Brighter than a polo sweater? (elaborate)
*Who is Martin and Coretta?
*How important was his father's absence in his life?
*How do we know his father was slacking?
*Did he want a relationship with his father? 3rd Verse Servin' time, locked down,
and she don't want nobody to know.

His daughter 25 pounds
By the time he get out, she gon' be 4

Now will his girl stay down?

Ain't no doubt, she love him yeah that's fo sho,
But temptation stays round

And if she strayed, how could he ever know?

Never know and so, she goes to the club on the weekend
A little freakin', but them dudes holla
But she never speakin',
but tonight I see the devil creepin'
Cause she been lonely, she ain't felt a man in 7 seasons

Dang! She do the best that she can,
Her mama tellin' her to find another man

She college educated with a felon boyfriend

That's what she thinkin' tonight
Maybe she's right,
but please,
Stay down mama!
Gotta be strong, don't break down mama! Second Verse I never thought I'd see my mama on that stuff man
It's messing with her body, now she sick dang

I wanted a big house with a white picket fence and a pool,
Who would have ever thought that it would come to this, man?

Quicksand is what this life feel like,
That stuff these rappers kick is nothin' like real life,
You made a milli off of servin' hard white,
yeah right
My mama tell you what addicted to that pipe feel like.

Stupid dudes I heard the cops be shootin' dudes.
I swear to God, wish I could bullet proof my dudes. Can't get no jobs, but they still recruitin' dudes.

We tryna stand tall when it gets to crucial. Notes/Questions *What did we learn about his mother?
*Did he literally mean a white house and picket fence?
(what does that image symbolize)
*Simile-Quicksand is what life feels like (elaborate)
*Who is he talking about when he says recruiting dudes?
*What is getting too crucial?
*Has his tone changed from the first verse?
*What was the overall message of this verse? Notes/Questions *How does "serving time" serve as a double meaning?
*What are the temptations he's talking about?
*Lust/Temptations are associated with "tonight see the devil creepin"
*Symbolism of her being college educated (higher expectations, held on a pedestal)
Felon boyfriend symbolizes?.....
*What was the main point of this verse?
.......Critical Thinking.........
*What do you think the Cole was trying to get his audience to understand with this song? First Verse Jermaine Cole (J. Cole) is a
N.C. native and signed to
Jay-Z's Roc Nation label.
He graduated, Magna Cum
Laude (Honors, 3.7 GPA)
from St. John's
Full transcript