(Credit: wikimedia)

Features

Behind the Mic: J. Cole's vulnerable masterpiece 'Wet Dreamz'

Lying to your girlfriend is nothing new. J. Cole certainly isn’t inventing anything particularly unique there. However, the lies told within his song ‘Wet Dreamz’ are fresh for one reason and one reason only: it shows the rapper’s intense vulnerability. Below, we’re digging deep into the story behind this classic Cole joint and reminding ourselves why he was one of the best rappers around.

Lyrically, it is hard to compete with Cole. In fact, we’d say only Kendrick Lamar comes close in the modern game. Whether it’s on a freestyle or in his studio albums, Cole has a way with words that can enrapture and enthral his audience. In this song, however, Cole spins a yarn that pretty much everybody can connect with as he dives into the moment he loses his virginity.

During our high school years, the build-up of sexual tension between peers is almost impossible to overcome. As hormones fly around the halls, sex can become the only obsession of the student body and seep into every corner of somebody’s life. While this may be a natural part of growing up, the impulse for sexual gratification can also provide an almost insurmountable mental barrier. For many of us, losing our virginity is as important as graduating. That’s what Cole explores on this track, the moment he loses his virginity and the lie he told to achieve it.

“Let me take you back,” begins Cole, as he begins to unfurl his tapestry of sexual conquest. But, much like the nostalgia-hued beat, the song is far from a grotesque re-telling of an awkward encounter. The song, instead, reflects Cole’s “obsession” with the young girl and the desire she instilled in him.

Things take a turn, however, when the object of his affections passes Cole a note asking if he had ever had sex before. Feeling small and patronised, he lies about his virginity and claims himself to be sexually active. Calling himself a “pro”, the girl offers him a “freaky” weekend, and then reality sets in. This is where the track really takes off.

Look back across the discography of any hip hop artist and you will find very few moments where they offer themselves as nakedly as Cole does in this song. Portraying himself as a scared boy who has written a cheque he doesn’t have the prowess to cash, we are given a track that almost everybody can relate to, all of which is perfectly encapsulated with the sweet video.

Of course, like most real-life occasions, the tables are turned when it becomes clear the girl he was seeing was as equally inexperienced as he. A tale as old as time delivered with impunity by a master.