Rapper J.Cole opens up about about life before he became a successful rap artist signed to Roc Nation. He lived in Jamaica Queens and was struggling to pay rent. J. Cole recalls his landlord was understanding and did not get upset and kick him out over unpaid rent but instead kept Cole around because he believed in his dreams to become a recognized rapper.
“The landlord himself, Muhammad, he’s just a great guy. So, I always try to shout him out,” said Cole. “My landlord from the first apartment I ever got, kicked us out. I was looking and looking and looking and this was the only place I found with enough bedrooms for me and my homeboys from school. It wasn’t the nicest, but it was affordable. I took the worse room in the house because I knew everybody didn’t want to come over there. I was just like ‘Yo, what we gon’ do? We gotta go somewhere. I’m from North Carolina. I ain’t got nowhere to go. I need a spot. I’m getting this spot.’ So, that’s how we ended up here… My landlord Muhammad he like really believed in me. So, when my rent kept piling, he never tripped. He just let me kinda just stick around. So, when I finally got the deal, after all them years, of course I paid him back in full.”
Cole expresses past feelings of waking up each day in his room and how he visualized his success that he now has today.
“Waking up in this every day is like so far from where I wanted to be,” said the Southern lyricist. “But this is the room where it started feeling real. You know what I mean? Where I started really believing and visualizing it. I used to literally wake up and tell myself like ‘Yo, today I want to write a song that millions of people are gonna sing. And millions of people gonna love.’ I set that intention.”
The Roc Nation self proclaimed “underdog” says he has more work to do to gain the respect he wants.
“I definitely consider myself an underdog,” said Cole “I always was in an underdog position. Just being from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Coming to New York City, the odds was against me. I got a long way to go and I know that, but I’m not gonna stop until they give me my props. Ultimately, happiness is the most important thing. And the pure happiness I think is finding happiness with yourself, how you are.”
Cole is currently getting ready for his What Dreams May Come Tour. The tour also features D.C. rapper Wale and is set to swing by Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Seattle this month.