Over the past few weeks, Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper J. Cole has treated listeners to a variety of records, content-wise, from his sophomore album Born Sinner. There was the grim, Miguel-assisted “Power Trip,” the lyric-heavy “Niggaz Know,” and earlier in the week Cole released the uplifting “Crooked Smile.”
The Dreamville emcee recently chopped it up with Fuse about his newly-released collaboration with TLC and revealed that “Crooked Smile” is essentially a song about embracing and empowering.
“The song is basically, it’s ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ empowering. It’s embracing,” said Cole. “It’s me saying that ‘I don’t care about this.’ I understand I don’t have the Colgate. I don’t have braces. I understand, and they definitely remind you.”
Despite the level of fame Cole has reached since releasing his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011, he spoke on struggling with those quick to point out his flaws and shared that he’s now gone on to embrace his quirks.
“When you become somewhat known, they definitely make it a point to remind you about your flaws. Things I hadn’t worried about since I was like 17, I’m now worrying about again. So, that’s me empowering, taking ownership of it. Like ‘Yeah I know. So what? And I’m still doing this. And I’m still doing that.’ And flipping it to tell other people to embrace they flaws too and not be so caught up in the little things. Your weight, or your nose, or your eyebrows, or your smile, or your hair. You know what I mean? And it’s like giving people power to embrace they own flaws, in a nutshell. And TLC is on it, so it’s like how incredible is that?”
J. Cole’s Born Sinner album is currently set for a June 18 release.