On “The Climb Back,”J. Cole raps about his journey rediscovering his love for rap. He also raps about a few of his traumatic life experiences and the things that some of his friends have endured.
Two days before releasing this song, Cole published an essay titled “The Audacity” in which he discussed several critical periods of his life and the persistent obligation within himself to achieve his goals. He specifically utilized the word ‘climb’ to describe how he advanced himself in each of these periods, which can be seen as a prelude to this song.
This and “Lion King on Ice” are the first two singles from Cole’s sixth studio album, The Fall Off. They were released together as Lewis Street.
[Intro] Are you doin’ this work to facilitate growth or to become famous? Which is more important? Getting or letting go? You can do anything, anything you can do (You can do anything) You can do anything, anything you can do (You can do anything)
[Chorus] Everything come back around full circle Why do lies sound pleasant but the truth hurtful? Everybody gotta cry once in a while But how long will it take ‘fore you smile? This is that come back to life shit My niggas pick me up and we gon’ light the city up as if the sun had the night shift And paint the town red for my nigga found dead too soon (Bitch I’m back out-)