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J. Cole Speaks About His Identity, Grammy Win, Smoking Cigarettes at Six & More With ESPN

Frankfurt-born legendary emcee, lyricist and record producer J. Cole, born Jermaine Lamarr Cole, recently sat down with ESPN for an affecting conversation. Talking to Bob Myers, the President of NBA‘s Golden State Warriors, on the Lead By Example podcast, the “Procrastination” rapper spoke at length about his overly asserted German roots, his life growing up and his GRAMMY win during the hour-long interview.

Talking about his parental roots in Frankfurt, Germany, Cole delved into its impact on his identity. “Yeah, I was born in Germany. My mother and my father were together and then uh you know like relatively early you know I don’t even think I was one before they like split up yeah um so yeah I was born in Germany people think I’m German that’s the other thing though people think I’m German the other thing people think my mom is German she’s not German,” Cole said during the conversation.

For Cole, the rapper said, albeit controversially, that his ‘Best Rap Song’ GRAMMY for “A Lot” alongside 21 Savage doesn’t feel like a “championship” at the time. The recognition was too late.

“Had I won it early on, I think it would have validated all of those feelings I had for it,” he said. “It maybe would have felt like a championship at that point. The fact that it didn’t happen, and then it didn’t happen, and then it didn’t happen, it allowed me to reflect and be like, ‘Oh wait a minute, those things weren’t for you.’ And then when it actually came it was almost like, I’m not in love with this thing anymore,” Cole said.

Throughout the conversation, Cole spoke about smoking cigarettes at just six years of age, his impact on rap music across the globe and his “three pillars for success”.

Watch the conversation between J. Cole and ESPN’s Bob Myers on the Lead By Example podcast here.

J. Cole’s interview with ESPN arrives amidst high anticipation for his seventh studio album. Reportedly, the new seventh album will be called It’s A Boy and will precede The Fall Off – another LP confirmed by J. Cole as part of the “The Fall Off Era”.

Cole is fresh off his exclusive contribution to the Creed motion picture franchise. Titled “Creed III: The Soundtrack”, the OST LP features eighteen hard-hitting rap records executive produced by the Brooklyn-based collective.

Most recently, Cole linked up with BTS’ J Hope for “On The Streets” single and is slated to headline the “Dreamville Festival” alongside Drake and Lil Durk.

Look out for J. Cole’s seventh studio album this year.