Roc Nation protégé J. Cole recently spoke on his undying critics and what keeps him motivated to keep churning out new hits despite not always winning everybody over.
In Jermaine’s perspective, he is just happy people are paying attention to his music regardless of positive or negative critiques.
“It’s funny, but it’s sad. Everybody has their own style of music that they like. I could never let that affect me in the way I make music. The people who like ‘Soul Plane’ are probably gonna think ‘Shawshank Redemption’ is boring. It’s not the end of the world. It’s cool that people care, because five years ago, nobody cared, but I don’t care about the chattering. It’s becoming more and more like noise to me.” (Noisey)
Cole also referenced how he always places an emphasis on putting work over pleasure.
“I’m not a gamer, but in my heart I wish I could be. I got a homeboy that wakes up everyday, smokes, and plays Xbox Live. Sometimes I look at him like, ‘I would pay to be you for 2 days,’ but I would feel guilty like I’m missing out on creativity or something.” (Noisey)
Cole has kept busy this week by releasing the new heartfelt “Crooked Smile” music video.
J. Cole has premiered the video for “Crooked Smile,” and there’s nothing to smile about when watching the heavy narrative unfold. The song is a pleasant bit of self-empowerment, but the video has an even bigger message, taking on racial profiling and the war on drugs. Dedicated to Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a seven-year-old killed during a police raid in Detroit in 2010, the Sheldon Candis-directed clip features a plea from Cole at the end: “Please reconsider your war on drugs.” Though the track features TLC, T-Boz and Chilli aren’t in the visual, which depicts two family stories that converge during a raid. Midway through the song, as tragedy unfolds, the song drops out and a murky version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays, echoing the sentiments of Cole’s “Miss America.” Watch the social commentary up top. (Idolator)
The North Carolina native shared his thoughts on the state of hip-hop a few weeks back.
“It’s heading into another golden era. It might not be there just yet, but it’s getting there. Look at the options you got right now. I remember around the time Hip Hop Is Dead was coming out, I knew why you was saying it. Rap was a f*cking joke. It was a singles-driven market. But even when I was unsigned, I knew with what I was doing that this was gon’ turn around. I didn’t know at the same time that Kendrick was somewhere studying, going hard. Drake was somewhere studying, going hard.” (VIBE)