Every interview J. Cole has given surrounding his latest LP KOD has provided fans with more insight into both Jermaine the man and J. Cole the artist. Most recently, Cole covered Billboard and discussed everything from activism to cancel culture, but it was his comments on social media in general that were some of his most impassioned.
“If I’m in a conversation with somebody and it’s natural and it’s organic, I’m going to speak freely,” he began. “But rarely do I feel the need to hop on Twitter or social media and chime in, especially on rap and music shit. This shit is not real. This shit is fucking fake. This shit is high school. This shit is fucking celebrity worship.”
Cole went on to acknowledge that he has a massive platform, and for imperative matters like politics, it might serve him to be more vocal. Yet, social media simply is not his forum. “I might not be on Twitter at that time,” Cole said. “I might not be in the mode of confidently expressing my opinions via text. I speak better from the heart, out loud. And when it really moves me, I’ll do it.”
As we know, J. Cole is finally ready to be famous, but only if he gets to enjoy fame on his own terms. With that, Cole’s disdain for social media should not come as a surprise. As he expressed later on in the interview, with social media, narratives can easily be twisted and taken out of context. For someone dedicated to all manner of writing and craft, having your words and personhood misunderstood must be infuriating.
To his credit, Cole isn’t the only artist vocal about the ire of social media. Other large-scale artists like Logic and Cardi B have expressed that social media is toxic and often an invasion of their privacy. In 2017, Big K.R.I.T. revealed that social media changed his psyche for the worse, too. The list of artists who have experienced the negative effects of socials goes on, but the moral remains clear: stay off Twitter, and if something really matters to you, just put those thoughts on wax.
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