J Cole does not typically speak with the media, but he granted Warriors GM Bob Myers an exclusive interview this week. The North Carolina native joined Myers on the most recent episode of the Lead By Example podcast, where he discussed his childhood, smoking, parenthood, and professions in both music and basketball. J Cole, one of the few rappers who transition from music to basketball, discussed his work ethic and goal-oriented nature.
When it came to his basketball career, J Cole told Myers that he lacked discipline during his teen years. Though he knew he had the talent, he explained that he didn’t necessarily tap into his full potential. “I loved basketball so much that my delusion was high. So to get cut [from the high school team] was a gut punch,” he said. From there, J Cole told Bob Myers that people like Steph Curry and Allen Iverson needed that bit of “delusion” to motivate them toward the top.
J Cole Tells Bob Myers About The Dumbest Thing He’s Done
Though J Cole is noticeably one of the few rappers who doesn’t often partake in drinking or smoking, he admitted to Bob Myers that he picked up a cigarette habit as a child. “6 years old, I was smoking cigarettes, regularly, around the neighborhood,” he recalled with a smirk on his face. J. Cole explained to Myers that his mother allowed him to roam the streets as she did when she was younger, though she wasn’t entirely aware of what he was up to at the time.
J Cole explained to Myers that he would hang around his older brother’s friends, trying to find a way to fit in. “To them, it’s funny – they’re 10 themselves – so it’s funny for themselves. Nobody’s really worried about me. They’re 10 and smoking cigarettes,” he recalled. “Th is is going on for 2-3 weeks. One day, I’m down the street at a house where it was happening at and my brother comes up and I asked one of our homeboys in the neighborhood, ‘You got any cigarettes?’”
Rapper’s Mom & Brother React
As his brother told him to shut up and downplayed that his 6-year-old brother even knew what cigarettes were, J Cole recalled the older guys confirming that he smokes. Though he said he’s grateful in retrospect, he said his brother’s decision to tell their mom felt like “treason,” though he already planned to deny it. Cole proceeded to go to the backyard where he proceeded to smoke cigarettes before his brother came 20 minutes later because their mother wanted to see him.
Cole told Myers that he felt “no worry at all” to see his mother. When his mom confronted him about smoking cigarettes, she asked him to speak so she could smell the scent of cigarettes. “This was the life-changing moment right here. I saw her face. When she smelled cigarettes on my brother… her face was like heartbroken, it was disbelief, it was… crushed,” he recalled. “It hit her. I’m the youngest of two. Her baby is A) capable of smoking cigarettes and B) lying dead to her face about it.” He said that he likely got a beating but that particular moment turned him into a “self-correcter.” “That was the first time that I became aware like, ‘Oh, my actions can hurt someone else,’” he said. Check out J. Cole’s first interview with Bob Myers above.