J. Cole & Jeremih's "Planes": Why This Song Sucks
J. Cole performing at The Woodlands Pavilion, August 2015
Photo by Francisco Montes
Here’s something that need be admitted to publicly. Out loud. Proclaimed from the heavens and written on message boards across the world.
J. Cole has ruined a pretty decent song about sex.
J. Cole ruining something is rare for him, and that makes him pretty decent. As a human, he has a general idea of how fame works and how to use it to his advantage. As a rapper, he’s still got the appeal of a guy you went to college with who says a ton of relatable things and can still be clumsy as hell when rapping. He also calls women “bitches” frequently, but then again he also made an entire album based around his childhood home.
He did not ruin “Looking For Trouble” from Kanye West’s awesome G.O.O.D. Fridays series. He could have ruined “Wet Dreamz” but the song was so self-deprecating — really, you’ve got to be bold to discuss losing your virginity and being nervous about it — that we let it slide, and it became a hit single. Seriously, we let a song about a guy watching pornos to self-educate himself about sex become popular on daytime radio. “Freaky Tales” could never.
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In other words, people like and dislike J. Cole the same way that wrestling fans like and dislike John Cena. He’s great for a whole segment of people who consider him the anti-Drake, and an endearing guy. He’s terrible to a segment of people who complain he’s boring and tease him about rapping about student loans, being a “higher grade of rapper” when he really is more like 10th-grade rap and such. He’s a rapper you want your kids to look up to, while he kind of gets on your nerves as an adult.
Now J. Cole has ruined “Planes” by Jeremih. His inclusion makes it a bad sex song. If J.Cole had not added a guest verse to “Planes,” it would be a good sex song. Jeremih's "Planes," the J. Cole version, not the Chance the Rapper version — sucks. But only because of J. Cole.
What is “Planes,” you ask? It is easily the second-best Jeremih song about sex. Jeremih has made some bad songs about sex, but he hasn’t made bad sex songs; i.e. the lyrics from “Birthday Sex," his debut single and the third-best, are quite cheesy. People, however, have decided to have plenty of sex to “Birthday Sex," therefore making it a good sex song. The best Jeremih sex song: “All the Time,” from his Late Nights mixtape that features Lil Wayne.
Why is “All the Time” superior to “Planes,” in regards to being good sex song? Simple: J. Cole rapped about his dick being so big that it was like a foot was in a girl’s mouth. Lil Wayne says his dick is like a pen and it’s written all over her face. Winner? The guy who rapped about cunnilingus for what felt like a two-year span.
For a sex song to work, you need a few clunky, awkward-ass lines. It’s why R. Kelly, despicable as he may be, may possibly be responsible for a small segment of the population even being here. On “Planes,” Jeremih sings about having sex, using a lot of plane metaphors about being a pilot and getting high before sex and all that. None of is awkward; it's actually pretty decent. Then J. Cole shows up to ruin everything. Remember the first time you had sex to a playlist? You did a whole bunch of work and even asked the girl you were about to bed all the songs she didn’t want to hear in the bedroom? Remember how she swore to you that you couldn’t add Keith Sweat, only you wanted “Make It Last Forever” and she said, “Fuck this, we’re not having sex to music” and you just shrugged and said 'OK'? J. Cole is like two albums of Keith Sweat plopped down in one ugly, uglier-than-Shabba-Ranks-ass verse.
And y'ain't babysitting, but my kids all on yo' couch
And oh, you nasty, oh, oh, you nasty
Both graduated so fuck keepin' it classy
We could keep going about how the song turns from being about sex to stealing someone’s girl to have sex with her, or the even more egregious needing a pill to calm her nerves; still, the damage is done. I don’t ever want J. Cole in my bedroom. I don’t want him near the door handle. Matter of fact, I don’t even want J. Cole to show up saying, “In the Morning” and “Lights Please”. Sex-song pass is revoked, sir.
Jeremih has a great song for two minutes and forty-six seconds. Then J. Cole wanted to turn into Cole from Martin, and made the thing suck.
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