In his song “Love Yourz”, hip-hop artist and rapper Jermaine Cole examines how materialism has negatively impacted society’s understanding of happiness and of what it means to be successful in the 21st century. Cole, who is better known by his stage name, J. Cole, uses the lyrics of this song to express his displeasure with the societal belief that one must constantly be seeking to gain more money, material possessions, fame, power, etc. in order to be considered successful and happy.
Throughout the song, Cole’s lyrics resonate with the concepts of the Information Measurement Theory. IMT teaches the idea that the event can happen only one way as governed by natural laws. In other words, nothing occurs by chance and things happen for a reason. Everything within our environment is there for a reason and is necessary for our lives. The hook of the song, which focuses on the repetition of the lyrics “No such thing as a life that’s better than yours”, highlights the idea that there is no life better for us than the life we each live. This follows the IMT concept that everything happens for a reason and that everything in our environment is necessary for our growth, even if it is difficult and seems as if we do not deserve it, because it ultimately contributes to the life we need to live as dictated by the event and governed by natural laws.
The overall message of the song is that, regardless of the what society may tell us, the beauty of life lies within what we do have, not in what others might have or what society tells us we should have. There can be no life better than the one we each individually live because we live the life we need. Thus, as Cole echoes throughout the song, we should not expend our energy wishing our life were different or better. We should not focus on materialism and obtaining happiness through success as defined by society. Instead, we should appreciate what we have in our own life and understand that we have what we do for a reason. In an interview with Tavis Smiley of PBS, Cole describes that the song seeks to explain that it is what we always have in life – our family, friends, love, etc. – that are the true blessings, rather than money, power, fame, etc. We should be happy with and thankful for the things we have, rather than constantly searching for something bigger and better that does not necessarily exist or that may not actually make us as happy as we expect.
Kashiwagi, D. (2015). 2015 Information Measurement Theory with the “Kashiwagi Story” Mesa, Arizona: Kashiwagi Solution Model.
PBS – TAVIS SMILEY | J. COLE |. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msA0J_mRVoI.
J. Cole – Love Yourz [Clean Version]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeYbb03wLrs.