In a recent interview with BET, J. Cole questioned whether he could have attained the same success if he was dark skinned.
Before you berate the MC with slander, know that this hypothetical scenario came in the context of a conversation about Trayvon Martin, race in America, and colorism in the Black community.
“I can’t say it for sure but I just think we’re still in America. We’re still Black Americans. Those mental chains are still in us. That brainwashing that tells us that light skin is better, it’s subconsciously in us, whether we know it or not… still pursuing light skin women,” Cole explained.
Considering the history of colorism in Hip-Hop — especially in music videos — we’d have to say that his comments were warranted. However, what the Born Sinner creator said next could raise a few eyebrows:
“But Barack Obama would not be president if he were dark skin. 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… I don’t even know if this is going to translate well into text and people not hearing what I’m saying, but it’s a sad reality. So I can only naturally assume it’s probably easier for a light skin male rapper than it might be for a dark skin male rapper. It’s all subconscious s**t, nobody’s aware — I think that s**t still subconsciously affects us.”
Cole’s opinions would make for an interesting debate, but history certainly suggests otherwise. Remember that the late, great Notorious B.I.G. once boasted, “Heartthrob, never, black and ugly as ever,” while he sat comfortably at the top of Hip-Hop’s ranks.
Read the entire interview here. Share your opinions in the comments.
Photo: Mike Lerner/iHeartRadio