By Rachel Taylor
So who was responsible for MTV’s Sway saying, “I have never heard that out of a rapper”? Yep, our favorite Born Sinner, J. Cole.
He took a risk this week by moving his album date to compete with Kanye West’s Yeezus, which he talked about on “RapFix” yesterday. He also admitted that while he might have some things — money, shoes, songs — time is not one of them. With his sophomore album, Born Sinner, hot on his heels and concerts nearly every day of the week (And with Drake joining his show last night!), Cole couldn't have more on his plate. Yet he’s not letting education fall to the sideline.
“I tried to go last year -- I didn't have time,” J. Cole told Sway about his plans to attend NYU. “Of course in the summer I was like, ‘Oh man I wanna go back to school’ … but timing was really bad. I want to go back to school. Really bad.” J. Cole is one of the highest-educated rappers in the game, and one of the most vocal on the importance of school. His qualifications are indisputable — he graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. John’s University in 2007 (while rapping and playing varsity basketball).
“I’m not going clearly for a job. I just want to go to get smarter. … Now that I’m older, I respect smarter people way more and I wish that I knew way more. So I definitely want [to go back to] school and become smarter,” Cole said, prompting Sway’s surprised reaction and well-deserved applause from the audience.
+ Watch J. Cole talk about getting schooled (at the 5:00 mark).
While Sway was left astounded, J.Cole makes no attempt to hide these sentiments. He jokingly blamed “some nerd” for the leak of Born Sinner, but the album itself features lines dedicated to education. On his first track, “Villuminati,” Cole raps, “Now they hate to see a young black man with a college degree,” and “And I ain't really into sacrificing bodies/ Couple more ‘A’s I would have been a Summa Cum Laude.”
So, will the master of the mix tape go back for his Master’s? Will his smart, soulful rhymes beat out the creator of The College Dropout? The future is looking bright for Mr. Cole as he moves up the ranks as an education champion and legend in the making.