Black Thought praises J. Cole for his ‘Beautiful’ apology to Kendrick Lamar

The Roots frontman, Black Thought, recently made an appearance on the This Week In White Supremacy podcast where he discussed J. Cole’s apology to Kendrick Lamar. Host Jasiri X asked Black Thought about J. Cole’s infamous apology to Kendrick Lamar, to which Black Thought responded positively, applauding Cole’s decision.

Black Thought, who also works as an adjunct instructor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, shared an interesting perspective. He mentioned how some of his students at NYU had asked him about J. Cole’s apology shortly after he released a diss record. Without even listening to the music, Black Thought found Cole’s apology to be a beautiful and unprecedented gesture in the rap industry.

Reflecting on rap’s history of beef and violence in the music genre, Black Thought commended J. Cole for taking a different approach. He highlighted how most rap battles escalate into physical altercations, but Cole chose to address the situation with humility and nobility. Black Thought emphasized the importance of self-reflection and self-improvement, acknowledging that Cole’s decision showed a rare sense of maturity in the industry.

While Black Thought admitted that he doesn’t know J. Cole personally, he shared an anecdote about their almost-collaboration in 2018. According to Black Thought, J. Cole had sent him beats for a joint album, but they didn’t align with Black Thought’s vision at the time. Black Thought requested a different batch of beats, which may have inadvertently scared off J. Cole due to Black Thought’s desire for more aggressive and Roots-centric sounds.

Despite the missed opportunity for a joint album, Black Thought holds respect for J. Cole’s artistic journey and growth. He sees Cole as someone who invests in self-improvement and elevating his artistry, which aligns with Black Thought’s own values as an artist and educator.

To hear Black Thought’s full thoughts on J. Cole’s apology and their almost-collaboration, you can watch the entire podcast episode here.

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