J. Cole recently spoke with Billboard about a handful of topics including not engaging with social media, the 2016 presidential election, speaking with XXXTentacion prior to his death, and his thoughts on the abuse allegations against Nas.
In regards to not being on social media, Cole said:
“rarely do I feel the need to hop on Twitter or social media and chime in, especially on rap and music shit. This shit is not real. This shit is fucking fake. This shit is high school. This shit is fucking celebrity worship. In college, we had this running joke that all our meetings of the Black Student Union — that I ended up becoming president of, but I was just a member my freshman and sophomore years — always eventually ended up talking about Jay-Z. No matter what black topic, social issue or community shit we was talking about, somebody brought up fucking Jay-Z. It never failed.”
As for Nas, the KOD rapper spoke on how he processed the allegations of abuse that Kelis made against the Nasir rapper.
“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,” Cole said. “I don’t fuck with people abusing women, and I don’t fuck with people not taking care of their kids.”
The rest of the interview can be read here. Below are other notable points from the interview.
Recently, Cole announced the rescheduled date for his inaugural Dreamville festival, which will take place on April 6, 2019. The event was supposed to take place on September 15 but didn’t happen because of Hurricane Florence.
On why J. Cole didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election:
“Because Hillary Clinton wasn’t somebody that was motivating me to go vote. If it was Bernie Sanders, I would’ve showed up and voted. I would’ve been the first one in line, no bullshit. No disrespect to Hillary.”
“Actually, with Trump in office, I love that America gets to see the truth. If Hillary Clinton was in office, it would be the most fucking disingenuous shit because everybody would be thinking that everything’s cool because we got an incredibly qualified female president. Which would’ve been amazing on so many levels. But all the shit we see right now would’ve still existed; it would’ve just been quiet. And I prefer this shit to be out loud. I prefer an honest America. I prefer the world seeing that, yes, we’re a country that is dumb enough — no disrespect — [that] we got duped into electing Donald Trump.”
On J. Cole speaking with XXXTentacion before his death:
“He started off the conversation literally on some, like — he didn’t even say hello. 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.”