The Internet was abuzz Wednesday morning after rapper J. Cole announced the world premiere of the new video for his hit song "Lost Ones," which tells the story of a young, unmarried couple dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
The video, which debuted around midnight, was filmed in 2008 on the budget of $1, according to Cole. So far, "Lost Ones" has proven a hit with fans online, who praise the rapper for a no-frills, real-life approach to an issue many young people find themselves dealing with in life.
"Lost Ones" is said to be one of Cole's favorites songs from his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, which was released in September. Cole, 24, is from North Carolina and was reportedly the first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation Label.
In the song, which features language some might find offensive, a young man, played by J. Cole, shares his feelings with a young woman about being unequipped to care for a baby, and that perhaps she should consider an abortion.
The second verse features the young woman's response, in which she criticizes the young man for sweet-talking her into sex, vows to keep the child and take care of it, with or without the young man's help. The young woman also reveals that the guy is the victim of an absent father himself and had promised that he would never abandon his own children.
The final verse features Cole rapping about the common perspectives guys who hear that they are suddenly going to be a father might have. On one hand, Cole raps, some women are known for using pregnancies to "trap" men, so perhaps a guy should be suspicious. In the end, though, Cole asks men to think about one thing: the "seed" inside the woman's womb.
The video has been so popular with fans online that "Lost Ones" was listed in Twitter's Trend list of the 10-most discussed topics on the social networking website.
A Twitter user with the handle "PreciousJule" described the video as simply "too deep."
Others on Twitter called the video "powerful," "honest" and "beautiful."
Some users on Twitter took the opportunity to offer commentary on the whole issue of parenting and caring for children.
School Councils UK, a charitable organization that provides training for educators and students with the expressed aim of getting children more involved, tweeted: "The true 'Lost Ones' are the little ones who don't have parents worthy of the name and no-one to look out for them."
One user took it a step further, offering pregnancy statistics.
Kayla tweeted, "The black teens pregnancy rate went up 33%... the college rates went down in a year. Praying for the young lost ones..."
J. Cole published the video on his official website along with the song's lyrics, which some say are powerful enough without the visuals provided by the music video. Both are accessible on J. Cole's website.
Cole, who started writing rhymes at 15, graduated Magna Cum Laude with distinction from St. John’s University. His biography says his approach to creating songs is founded on "a love for powerful storytelling."