In a new interview with BET, J. Cole has some poignant things to say about race and the color of his skin affecting his success as a rapper in America. In a candid moment, J. Cole reveals that he believes his light skin might have positively affected his career and propelled him to a larger success than he would not have had if he were born with a darker complexion. He also spoke about his belief that President Obama would not have been elected without his lighter skin, too.
“But Barack Obama would not be President if he were dark skin.” Cole told BET. “You know what I mean? That’s just the truth. I might not be as successful as I am now if I was dark skin. I’m not saying that for sure, I’m still as talented as I am and Obama is still as smart as he is, but it’s just a sad truth…”
While Cole lamented his belief that the complexion of his skin has been advantageous to his career, he still says that his status as a black man in America has adversely affected his life, too. When asked about his personal experiences with racism in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, J. Cole offered a recent example of racial profiling that he believes happened to him in New York City.
“I just got pulled over on 42nd street in Times Square for what I believe was nothing.” Cole explained. “They said it was for tints on my front window, which is barely tinted. I really believe it was because I had my hat low. I was driving through Times Square and I just didn’t want to be seen. So I had my hat low and I think I was looking “suspicious” just as a Black man with my brim low, when I was really just trying to cover my face. They came to my window, pulled me over. I feel like if I was a white man driving, they wouldn’t question me about my tints.”
Last week, New York City’s controversial “Stop & Frisk” policy was overturned by a federal judge but it seems as if racial profiling is still happening in the city even to famous musicians like J. Cole.