Jermaine's Interlude by J Cole speaks to his feelings about the rap/hip-hop industry being a trap. He warns others not to sell their soul and stick to their visions even if it means they won't make as much money. He talks about black on black violence and police brutality towards black people.
The theme in Cole's masterpiece is that you can't sell yourself when things are at their darkest because every time you turn to the easy way out you sell a piece of your soul. You have to make the conscious decision to stick to your morals and values no matter what.
"Can't call it" is an example of repetition Cole uses several times throughout the song. He used it to show how he cannot recall why he started to sell himself to the industry considering his success at this point in his career.
Heaven, hell, niggas, hopes control, and fuck that shit are examples of diction Cole used to draw emotion from the audience. When he uses a powerful word like the N word purposely to describe how disadvantaged black people take each other out over turf wars that mean nothing. This makes the listener feel his tone that is hurt tone that is clearly damaged. When he uses words like heaven and hell he questions the future of our broken society and whether it would be better not to be a part of it. He makes the audience think deeper about what we've come to. When he tears through a verse and tells you to "fuck that shit" he tries to elicit emotion from the listener to stand up and not to roll over for money.
Although it is obvious Cole uses a song to relay his message. But this free verse masterpiece couldn't have come in any better way. Using a song as a style was his best bet because it makes it easier to talk about serious issues like police brutality. He used his music platform to get a message across to a wide demographic of fans that are members of his society.
Hyberbole- "sell your soul" You cannot sell your soul as it is not a physical item. He uses it to show that if you sell yourself to the industry you lose a piece of yourself.
"Niggas murkin each other in murky water"- He relates black on black violence to swimming in murky water where he is blind. He questions what belongings mean when lives are being lost for nothing. You feel something in the pit of your stomach that isn't right.