J. Cole has always given the impression that he doesn’t smoke or drink, especially since he doesn’t talk about doing those things in his music, but during a recent interview with the “Lead by Example with Bob Myers” podcast, he revealed that cigarettes were a part of his routine at an early age.
“At 6 years old, I was smoking cigarettes regularly around the neighborhood,” Cole said.
Cole says that while hanging around older kids, he was trying to be cool.
“I was always hanging around the older kids in the neighborhood that [my older brother, Zach] was hanging around and they were smoking,” Cole said. “And I was young and fearless and trying to be cool.
“So, it was like, ‘Oh, y’all smoking. Let me see that.’ Of course, we’re all out there [with] young parents, long leashes. Not that [my mom] knew I was doing this.”
That all changed when his older brother caught him asking for a cigarette and told their mom.
“She was like, ‘Say something,’ ” Cole said. “I was like, ‘What do you mean say something?’ When I said it she bent down, she smelled the cigarette smoke on my breath. The reason why I think that was a life-changing moment where after that I didn’t need much correction, I became a self-corrector. That was the first time I became aware that ‘Oh, my actions can hurt someone else.’ “