or
J. Cole

Freedom or jail, clips inserted
A baby's bein' born same time a man is murdered
The beginning and end, so far as rap goes
It's only natural, I explain my plateau
And also what defines my name

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

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

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

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

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

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

Long live the idols, may they never be your rivals
Pac was like Jesus, Nas wrote the Bible
Now what you just heard's a tale of glory and sin
No I.D. my mentor now let the story begin

Written by COLE, JERMAINE L. / KUTI, FELA RANSOME / PARRINO, ANTHONY
Published by Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics Provided By LyricFind Inc.