J. Cole's The Off-Season continues to spark discussion, but in terms of immediacy, there are many who have named the 21 Savage and Morray assisted "My Life" as one of the project's notable standouts. It's certainly moving units effectively, with a projected first-week tally of 100k making it the best-selling single of the week. Not only is it proving to be a favorite on the mainstream side, but it's also won the hearts of hip-hop historians across the board. 

Upon hearing the chorus, brought to life through a powerhouse vocal performance by North Carolina's Morray, many fans were quick to look back to Styles P and Pharoahe Monch's timeless classic "The Life." Originally released in 2002 on Styles' debut solo album A Gangster And A Gentleman, it was Monch who delivered a haunting rendition of the hook that Morray would reinvent decades later. 

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Following the release of "My Life", Styles and Monch took a moment to reflect on having their song honored by J. Cole. "I hit my brother the great @pharoahemonch yesterday like Ain’t we some cool middle aged dudes???" captions P. "Salute @JColeNC for a beautiful album Breath of fresh air !kicked it with him for a few he is such a gracious Jedi !!! It’s A honor to be honored by the honorable." 

 For Monch, seeing "The Life" honored brought him all the way down memory lane, and the legendary lyricist penned a reflection on his own history with the song. "When I was speaking to @realcoleworld last week about his love for the My Life song and the chorus all I could think about was those days digging for samples at the Roosevelt Hotel record conventions in Manhattan," begins Monch. "Those dusty ass shops out of town, crawling around with a bandana over my mouth looking through the boxes on the floor. Thinking back to when critics said hip hop was a fluke and wouldn’t stand the test of time."

Pharoahe Monch

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"This week has been an insane introspective look back into that time," he continues. "At the same time that I’m celebrating with a “hell fucking yeah” as Jay-Z & @llcoolj are inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, the young king who is obviously cut from the same cloth as those legends, reached out to say how much the My Life song moved him coming up in High School. Shout out to @realcoleworld on yet another classic album / shout out to @stylesp / @phantomofthechakras2 on the creation of the 2002 classic, The Life."

Check out Styles and Monch's reflections on J. Cole's "My Life" below, and show some love to the track that left a deep impression on one of hip-hop's new generation of greats.

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LISTEN: Styles P Ft. Pharoahe Monch - The Life