J. Cole is the latest cover star for GQ’s April/May issue and the Dreamville leader is opening up about fame and how despite performing at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, he isn’t a fan of major events with all eyes on him. “I don’t like center-of-attention type moments,” the 34-year-old Cole says. “Like the camera, mad people, the world watching the arena, and I have to do something right.”
He’s also fairly aware of that pesky “platinum with no features” joke that has persisted ever since 2014’s Forest Hills Drive. “I was like, ‘Word up – this is finny as hell.’ But the second or third time I was like, ‘All right, it’s almost embarrassing now.’ Like, ‘Alright, man, y’all gonna make me put a feature on the album just so this sh*t can stop.'”
The story of Cole is a fascinating one, not only because he shunned the traditional method of stardom and made it on his own, it’s that he hasn’t secured the accolades that have gone with it. Five platinum albums is one thing, five platinum albums with zero Grammys is another. But, he says not getting certain awards has actually been a good thing for him.
On not winning the Best New Artist Grammy in 2012, he says, “It would’ve been disastrous for me, because subconsciously it would’ve been sending me a signal of like ‘Okay, I am supposed to be this guy.’ But I would’ve been the dude that had that one great album and then fizzled out. I”m not supposed to have a Grammy, you know what I mean? At least not right now, and maybe never. And if that happens, then that’s just how it was supposed to be.”
Read the full feature at GQ now.