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J. Cole is the first MC to appear on MTV’s revitalized Life & Rhymes series. In this episode, the Born Sinner wordsmith takes viewers to the Jamaica, Queens crib that he lived at prior to blowing up and talks the significance of “Crooked Smile.”

Speaking on his humble beginnings, Cole paid homage to a man who was an unlikely blessing. “My landlord Muhammad, he really believed in me, so when my rent kept piling, he never tripped. He just let me kind of stick around, so when I finally got the deal — after all them years — of course I paid him back in full.”

But even in those times of desperation, Cole had big dreams. “I used to literally wake up and tell myself, today I want to write a song that millions of people are going to sing and millions of people are going to love. I used to set that intention,” the Roc Nation MC explained.

Fast forward some years later, and he had a certified hit in the TLC-assisted “Crooked Smile.” Hear more about J. Cole’s story and the aforementioned track below.

Photo: MTV

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