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Conflict

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on 6 October 2014

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Transcript of Conflict

Conflict
Conflict, Meaning, and Immediacy in J Cole's "Let Nas Down."
[Intro]
Freedom or jail, clips inserted
A baby's being born same time a man is murdered
The beginning and end, as far as rap goes
It's only natural, I explain my plateau
And also what defines my name

[Hook]
Yeah, long live the idols, may they never be your rivals
Pac was like Jesus, Nas wrote the Bible
Now what you're 'bout to hear's a tale of glory and sin
No I.D. my mentor now let the story begin

[Verse 1]
I used to print out Nas raps and tape 'em up on my wall
My niggas thought they was words, but it was pictures I saw
And since I wanted to draw, I used to read 'em in awe
Then he dropped Stillmatic, rocked the cleanest velour
Fast forward, who thought that I would meet him on tour?
I'm earnin' stripes now nigga, got Adidas galore
Backstage I shook his hand, let him know that he's the man
When he said he was a fan it was too hard to understand
No time to soak up the moment though, cause I was in a jam
Hov askin' where's the record that the radio could play
And I was strikin' out for months, 9th inning feeling fear
Jeter under pressure, made the biggest hit of my career
But at first, that wasn't clear, niggas had no idea
Dion called me when it dropped, sounded sad but sincere
Told me Nas heard your single and he hate that shit
Said you the one, yo why you make that shit
I can't believe I let Nas down
Damn, my heart sunk to my stomach, I can't believe I let Nas down
I got defensive on the phone, resentment was in my tone, fuck it

[Hook]

[Verse 2]
I couldn't help but think that maybe I had made a mistake
I mean, you made "You Owe Me" dog, I thought that you could relate
But while I shot up the charts, you mean tellin' me
That I was not up to par, when I followed my heart
Granted, my heart was tainted by my mind, I kept on sayin'
Where's the hits? You ain't got none
You know Jay would never put your album out without none
And dog, you know how come
Labels are archaic, formulaic with their outcomes
They don't know, they just study the charts
Me, I study the shows, the fans, study their hearts
I had a feelin' I was killin', and this music we were spillin' out
Would change lives forever, fuck the label, put it out
Friday Night Lights blew, that was classic number 2
Now it seemed as if the Nas comparisons was comin' true
Still no release date from the label, are they insane
Gucc told me play the game to change the game but on the way
I let Nas down, I got no one to blame, I'm ashamed I let Nas down
But this is God's plan, you could never understand, fuck it

[Hook]

[Verse 3]
I always believed in the bigger picture
If I could get them niggas to listen outside my core then I can open a door
Reintroduce 'em to honesty, show 'em that they need more
The difference between the pretenders and the Kendrick Lamars
And so, I took the fall like the son of the Lord
On the cross, dyin' for that fake shit you niggas bought
For the past decade, if I should pass please let this be my last essay
Therefore I write from the heart
Apologies to OG's for sacrificin' my art
But I'm here for a greater purpose, I knew right from the start
I'm just a man of the people, not above but equal
And for the greater good I walk amongst the evil
Don't cry mama, this the life I choose myself
Just pray along the way that I don't lose myself
This is for the nigga that said that hip-hop was dead
I went to Hell to resurrect it, how could you fail to respect it
Lettin' Nas down, I got the phone call quietly I mourned dog, I let Nas down
Yeah, and on this flight may I never lose sight, fuck it

[Hook]


I used to print out Nas raps and tape 'em up on my wall
[Intro]
Freedom or jail, clips inserted
A baby's being born same time a man is murdered
The beginning and end, as far as rap goes
It's only natural, I explain my plateau
And also what defines my name

[Hook]
Yeah, long live the idols, may they never be your rivals
Pac was like Jesus, Nas wrote the Bible
Now what you're 'bout to hear's a tale of glory and sin
No I.D. my mentor now let the story begin

[Verse 1]

My niggas thought they was words, but it was pictures I saw
And since I wanted to draw, I used to read 'em in awe
Then he dropped Stillmatic, rocked the cleanest velour
Fast forward, who thought that I would meet him on tour?
I'm earnin' stripes now nigga, got Adidas galore
Backstage I shook his hand, let him know that he's the man
When he said he was a fan it was too hard to understand
No time to soak up the moment though, cause I was in a jam
Hov askin' where's the record that the radio could play
And I was strikin' out for months, 9th inning feeling fear
Jeter under pressure, made the biggest hit of my career
But at first, that wasn't clear, niggas had no idea
Dion called me when it dropped, sounded sad but sincere
Told me Nas heard your single and he hate that shit
Said you the one, yo why you make that shit
I can't believe I let Nas down
Damn, my heart sunk to my stomach, I can't believe I let Nas down
I got defensive on the phone, resentment was in my tone, fuck it
"Let Nas Down"
! ! ! ! !

CONFLICT
(outside sources, tensions, and frustrations)
Meaning
Personal achievement, connection between conflict and accomplishment
Childhood:
"I used to print out Nas
raps and tape 'em up
on my wall"
Underground:
"Fast fwd, who would have thought
I'd meet him on tour...When he
said he was a fan, it was too
hard to understand"
Transition:
"no time to soak up the moment...
'cause I was in a jam. [2 years
without coming up with a radio
single.]
Mainstream:
"I was striking out for months
9th inning feeling fear, Jeter
under pressure, made the biggest
hit of my career."
Fallout:
"Dion called sounding sad but sincere. Told me Nas heard your single and he hates that shit. Said you the one...why you make that shit? I can't believe I let Nas down."

Chorus: "Long live the idols
may they never be your rivals."

"I couldn't help but think that maybe
I had made a mistake. I mean, you
made 'You Owe Me'--I thought that
you could relate."

"I'm ashamed; I've got
no one to blame. I can't
believe I let Nas down."

"This is for the rapper
who said, 'Hip Hop is Dead'. I went to hell to
resurrect it. How could you fail to respect it?"
J-Cole :

Let Nas Down
Narrative Building

What word(s) take
emphasis for you?

"It matters to me."
Because of the "negative" comment by Nas (conflict), J Cole wrote a song that defined not only his career but his life mission to that point (meaning), so much so that he said:
"If I should pass,
please let this be
my last essay."
Meaning first
Grade Second
J Cole had no idea how Nas would respond (or if he even would). But, in writing the song for himself, J Cole also got a response from Nas.
Nas responded with a remix called "Made Nas Proud" where he says, "While you were writing down my rhymes, I was trying to show you that if you say what's on your mind you can stand the test of time."
Two Reasons
to Create
C
O
n
f
l
i
c
t

Your first essay
is
"Your Last Essay"
For example: If you had given your life to acting...
If you were a comedic actor and gave your life to entertain on a mass scale, you might be okay with your "last essay" being...
The Hangover
But......
If it were your
last
essay, you might not spend it doing...
The Hangover 2
The Hangover 3
Meaning
Immediacy
Conflict in Writing
Positive or Negative?
Conflict Around
Writing
J Cole responded to a comment by Nas. Who/What might play a part in the unresolved conflict in your life?
Brainstorm ideas: struggles you have had, whether personal, familial, societal. What might be the scene you want to show your audience? Why is this conflict important. How does it concern you? Is it greater than you? Write down ideas or freewrite on a time.
Don't worry about sentence structure, grammar, etc. (we will do that later). Allow yourself to write this "as your last chance, your last essay" and allow yourself to connect to the conflict, meaning, and immediacy of what you are writing.
EXERCISE
What to do: Write a reflective essay about an unresolved conflict in your life (current or past). The aspects to focus on will be reflection and critical analysis. For the purpose of meaning and immediacy in your writing, you will write this essay as if it were your last chance to ever address the issue/conflict you are writing about. How will you show us the conflict while also writing about ways you have tried to resolve it and ways you would if given another chance. What has kept this conflict unresolved? Is it better left that way or is it worth resolving?
In choosing a topic for this reflection paper, think about J Cole's line, "If I should pass, please let this be my last essay." If you could write about one conflict that has been present throughout your life, or that is new and relevant now, if you could only write about one conflict, what would it be?

How has this conflict defined or altered your life? Is it still unresolved? How, in writing about it, might you frame it in a way that will help you? Is it worth resolving? Is it directly related to you, or does it broaden out to family or society?
Full transcript