J. Cole is not one of those Hip Hop stars that jumps on the screen now and then.
Recently, Cole decided to take on the role of an interviewer when he spoke to Lil Pump this year but now he’s back behind the hot seat in his Billboard cover story.
He speaks on his music, his social media presence and, interestingly enough, XXXTentacion.
X was one of the hottest up-and-coming stars before he was murdered this year.
After his death, Cole tweeted that the young artist had a “strong desire to be a better person,” which was seen through his charity and “Helping Hand” initiative.
The K.O.D. rapper revealed to Billboard that he actually had a conversation with X before he passed away, leaving a mark on him for the rest of his life.
“I spoke to him on FaceTime one day in February for, like, three hours.
It was a super-intense conversation.
He left a mark on me, just as a person.”
According to Cole, X didn’t even say hello.
He simply greeted him by saying that he hadn’t yet reached his level both spiritually and mentally.
He reflected on the violent incidents in X’s life, saying that he hoped to have been there to help turn around his life.
Read Excerpt Below:
What did he want to talk about?
He started off basically saying, “I’m not on your level yet.”
He was talking about spiritually and mentally, and that was intense because I was like, “Huh?
I’m not on no level.”
He was praising me while also saying he was going to achieve whatever it is he felt that I had.
I’ve dealt with mentally ill people in my life before, many of them.
And right away, I notice that this kid is super passionate and smart, but I could also see that he was so deep in his mind.
When I found out [about the abuse allegations against him], my first response was,
“Man, I hope maybe one day I’ll get a chance to talk to this kid and figure out if there’s any place that I can help.” Because anybody who would do the shit that he did…
Hurt people hurt people. I’ve walked through prisons and talked to these dudes who got life.
They took someone’s life at 16 or 17 years old.
You haven’t had the chance to process your trauma at that age.
I’ma be sympathetic to a kid who has clearly been through so much fucked-up shit that he inflicted this on someone else.
How did you process the allegations of abuse that Kelis made against your hero Nas, who was an adult during their relationship?
Yeah, that hurt.
I ain’t going to lie. That hurts.
It feels weird because I fuck with Nas, but I just have to be honest.
I came up seeing too much fucked-up shit for that to be acceptable.
I don’t care who it is. I don’t fuck with people abusing women, and I don’t fuck with people not taking care of their kids.
Despite your discomfort with fame, people look to you as a sort of moral authority. Someone said to me at the charity event that you’re like the Harry Belafonte of rap.
He’s a legend.
Do you want that responsibility?
No, because there’s a long history of activism and standing for something, and I haven’t done enough.
I’m too selfish for that, and one day, I hope that I’m not.
Right now, it’s about me, family and the music or any creative pursuits that I do.
That’s selfish. I hope I do more for the community.
People give me props now, but the truth is, I live my life very selfishly.
The little shit I did today, that’s nothing.
Harry Belafonte put his money where his mouth was and in the streets.
I haven’t reached that point yet.
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