Roc Nation rapper J. Cole is covering the latest issue of Rolling Out. In the cover story, the North Carolina native talked about being an artist from Fayetteville, his basketball career, meeting Jay-Z, Rihanna sex tape rumors, and his debut album, entitled Cole World: The Sideline Story (in stores and online this Tuesday September 27). Below are some excerpts:
When it comes to hip-hop on a national scale, Fayetteville is relatively unknown. How did you approach being the first major hip-hop artist to represent that city?
I took pride in being the first artist out of Fayetteville to make it. I made sure that I was shouting out my city with every chance I got. I knew that there weren’t many people coming to my city looking for rappers, but I never felt that people wouldn’t respect me. I just knew that I had to make people pay attention.
You were known for basketball skills before becoming known as a rapper. Was there anything in sports that prepared you for where you are in music?
I tried out for the basketball team as freshman and I got cut. My cousin played ball and told me to become the team’s manager, get in good with the coach and learn the system. So I swallowed my pride and I became the team’s manager. I figured that I would make the team the next year just because I was the team’s manager. But I got cut the very next year. The average person would have [given] up after getting cut twice. The next summer before my junior year, I played one-on-one with the best player on the team and worked hard on my game. I finally made the team and I was starting my senior year. If it wasn’t for that rejection in basketball, I’m not sure if I would have had what it takes to make it in rap.
Source: Rolling Out
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