Following his emergence into the world of Hip Hop several years ago thanks to the release of several well-received mixtapes, Carolina rapper J. Cole has gone on to maintain a successful music career, but according to the Roc Nation artist, that success may not have come if his complexion was different.

While speaking with, Cole spoke on issues pertaining to complexion in black America when asked about his decision to include both dark-skinned and light-skinned women in his music videos.

“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. There are some women out there that are like, ‘I don’t even like light skin men’ and that’s fine,” said the Born Sinner rapper. “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.”

Cole also addressed his own experience with racism as he shared the details of a recent incident he feels was the result of racial profiling and commented on the experience being one someone white wouldn’t “have to go through.”

“That’s something that I feel like somebody my age that’s white doesn’t have to go through, especially in New York City. On the other hand, every time I’m on the plane in first class — this is a lesser evil but it still represents their mind state — I promise you, 60 percent of the time somebody asks me what basketball team do I play for or do I rap,” said Cole.

Although J. Cole’s success can be attributed to his work as both a rapper and producer, he says choosing to produce his own records was one of the biggest risks he’s taken in his career.

“Producing all my own songs and refusing to go to the hot producer. That’s the biggest risk I’ve taken so far,” Cole revealed. “Constantly taking that risk by not going to whoever is hot and still be as far as I am. It’s a blessing but it’s also been a huge risk because I’m not using the current hip hop sound. Whoever does the beats for people; I didn’t go run to them. Of course I will now because I want to now, I’m tired of having to make the beats from scratch. Up to this point, that’s been my biggest risk I’ve taken, deciding to do it all on my own, production wise.”

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