J. Cole Drops Unreleased 'Fire Squad' Video From '2014 Forest Hills Drive'
By Regina Star
December 11, 2020
J. Cole surprised fans with the music video for one of his throwback tracks.
The rapper honored the six-year anniversary of his album, 2014 Forest Hill Drive, this week by unveiling the music video for the deep cut “Fire Squad.” The visual’s release came on the heels of the much-anticipated hype led by Cole fans who believed the emcee would finally unleash his long-awaited album, The Fall Off.
Although followers didn’t receive the LP as they’d wished, fans accepted the “Fire Squad” video consolation; the anthem’s message feels urgent now more than ever.
"A bunch of @JColeNC videos got deleted way back and today were getting them all back up," read an announcement from Dreamville’s Twitter. "And because it’s the anniversary #FHD heres the world premiere of the never before released video for ‘Fire Squad’ 🔥🔥🔥 Happy Holidays!"
A bunch of @JColeNC videos got deleted way back and today were getting them all back up. And because it’s the anniversary #FHD heres the world premiere of the never before released video for ‘Fire Squad’ 🔥🔥🔥 Happy Holidays! https://t.co/103ttJ79Hh pic.twitter.com/MDJgOwjZH2— Dreamville (@Dreamville) December 9, 2020
Directed by Maxim Bohichik, the five-minute video finds Cole on the other side of the world in a bullet-riddled town, which serves as the backdrop for the song’s gritty call-out of cultural appropriation and culture vultures.
“Ain’t a way around it no more, I am the greatest/A lotta n—s sat on the thrown, I am the latest/I am the bravest, go toe to toe with the giants,” Cole boasts in the opening verse, before taking shots at several white artists — Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Macklemore — as some of the music industry’s prime offenders and profiteers of Black music and culture.
Cole raps on the beat, “History repeats itself and that's just how it goes/ Same way that these rappers always bite each other's flows/ Same thing that my n—a Elvis did with Rock 'n Roll/ Justin Timberlake, Eminem and then Macklemore/ While silly n—s argue over who gon' snatch the crown/ Look around, my n—a, white people have snatched the sound.”
2014 Forest Hill Drive also features big joints like “No Role Modelz” and “Apparently,” the latter of which received a nod for Best Rap Performance at the 2016 Grammys in addition to a Best Rap Album nomination.