Honesty and accountability are hard to come by these days. What once seemed like an easy commitment can slip the mind or become an inconvenience down the road. Luckily, people like J. Cole exist, who's proven to be a man of his word in addition to his music career.
Back in 2013, when a Washington Township High School student by the name of Cierra Bosarge asked if he would attend her high school graduation, Cole not only responded, he agreed to the invite... but only on one condition. Cierra would have to study up and land an acceptance at a four year university.
The two kept in touch. Cierra kept the grades up, checking in with Jermaine just to make sure she was on the right track. Meanwhile, Cole's popularity surged to all-time heights on the heels of 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Nevertheless, spring 2015 was the moment season of truth, and the young graduate made it into multiple four year schools. Cole was on tour and in the midst of prepping his upcoming wedding, but promises are promises, even when you're a top-tier star in the music industry.
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He actually showed up. According to his manager, Ibrahim, Cole even rearranged a few of the tour dates just to make the event. You know, just showing up, making young high school graduates cry tears of joy and giving them an amazing memory is all in a day's work for the Fayettenam phenom.
An appearance wasn't all she got though, as Cole even blessed her with a gift, just a few books and oh yeah, a little bit of that Forest Hills money to help lower that tuition.
It's 2015. Young people are constantly seeing their peers blow up on Vine, Instagram, etc. The incentive to stay in school and work hard may be dwindling, when dreams of riches and grandeur seem only a viral video away. It's commendable to see someone in the spotlight instilling values in the youth, especially rappers, who have gotten a bad rap (pun intended) when it comes to their influence on young people since hip-hop's early years. A college graduate himself, J. Cole understands the importance of education, even at the point in his career that he's reached. The music is great, but it's made that much better coming from a down to earth, intelligent and accountable human being, and most of all someone you can respect.
We can argue all day about whether or not J. Cole is the man on the mic, but he's shown he is a true man of his word and of the people, and that's far more important.
[By Brendan Varan. He's patiently awaiting any personalized book recommendations from J. Cole. Follow him on Twitter.]