Skip to main content

Woah: J. Cole’s “Neighbors” Beat Is Actually “Forbidden Fruit” In Reverse

During his 4 Your Eyez Only tour stop in Anaheim last night, Cole broke the golden rule of magic.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:
DJBooth_logo2x

Playing songs in reverse to reveal supposed subliminal messages (known as backmasking) is usually associated with old rock bands who may or may not have been devil worshippers. You’re lying if you say you weren’t absolutely terrified the first time you heard what sounded like a love letter to Satan hidden on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” a claim the band continues to laugh off.

But sometimes backmasking is intentional, and sometimes it’s so simple it’s actually genius. Like J. Cole’s “Neighbors” beat which, as it turns out, is actually his “Forbidden Fruit” instrumental played in reverse.

Image placeholder title
Scroll to Continue

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

Best-of-the-Week-Header--11-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new tunes from Wizkid, G Herbo, Ayra Starr, Kaash Paige, and Ayoni.

Header--21-

yvngxchris Went From Recording on Earbuds to Viral Star

Rapper yvngxchris started off making songs on iPhone earbuds. Now, he's signed and constantly going viral.

5-Albums-Header--9-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

EST Gee, Nasty C, Idahams, Mura Masa, and KA$HDAMI all released new albums this week that you need to hear.

During his 4 Your Eyez Only tour stop in Anaheim last night, Cole broke the golden rule of magic and revealed the secret to his "Neighbors" beat. “Cali, listen,” he told the crowd as he executed a seamless—and mind-blowing—transition from “Forbidden Fruit” into “Neighbors.”

Talk about hiding in plain sight.

For the cynics out there who are currently Googling “Forbidden Fruit instrumental mp3” and “how to play a song in reverse” (get it how you live), you might be able to make out part of the “Neighbors” melody, but you won’t get the “holy shit!” moment you’re looking for.

Between removing the snares, tweaking the tempo and beefing it up with 808s, Cole obviously did plenty of tinkering with the reversed “Forbidden Fruit” section in order to make “Neighbors.” After all, a magician never reveals all his secrets.

For what it’s worth, playing “Forbidden Fruit” in reverse doesn’t reveal any hidden messages to Satan—even if he did get Adam and Eve kicked out of Eden.

Related

5-Albums-Header--9-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

EST Gee, Nasty C, Idahams, Mura Masa, and KA$HDAMI all released new albums this week that you need to hear.

Header--20-

Van Buren Want to Turn Brockton From Slept-On to Powerhouse

Rap collective Van Buren carry their city with them wherever they go. They break down how they're giving back to Brockton in a new interview with Audiomack.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--10-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Selections include EST Gee, Asake, Greentea Peng, Midwxst, and Prince Swanny.

5-Albums-Header--1-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Get familiar with the latest works from Asake, NAV, Ari Lennox, TiaCorine, and Van Buren.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--9-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Yeat, Lil Baby, Govana, Kali Uchis, and KUR all released new songs worthy of your ears.

5-Albums-Header--8--1

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Queue up new albums from Pi'erre Bourne, Erigga, TROD, Sha Ek, and Preyé.