Winning Essay by Colin V. from Indiana attends Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Winning Essay by Colin V. from Indiana attends Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Jermaine Lamarr Cole (J. Cole) is a contemporary rapper, producer, and proprietor of Dreamville Records. J. Cole has had a profound impact on my adolescence and professional life by constructing an abundance of albums that call for African-Americans to feel empowered by their culture. His music is encouraging to me for the growth it offers to its listeners. During my adolescence, Cole’s sentiments served as guidance for my life. Although J. Cole’s music may seem to be average for the rap genre, the message he delivers propels him to be a thought-provoking advocate for black youth.

Jermaine uses his platform to share his perception of life and demonstrates the many forms of happiness within it. In “Love Yourz,” he advises his listeners to love the life they live because a lack of money does not necessarily mean a lacking life (J. Cole, 2014). As a teenager, I believed I could only pursue careers in fields, such as law and business, to be successful and financially-prosperous. J. Cole’s message enabled me to observe the alternative benefits of a career beyond the financial gain. I am currently working toward a degree in Health Information that will permit me to provide quality care to individuals in my community. I found a career which grants me the ability to make an impact in other people. Cole’s ideas have had a noteworthy influence in my development as a professional.

Jermaine is not afraid to converse about the racial profiling of minorities in the United States. “Neighbors” is a precaution to African-Americans in their pursuit of happiness. J. Cole uses this record to speak about his personal experience with racial profiling and how society thinks African-Americans only have value in trivial avenues of work, such as music or athletics (J. Cole, 2016). To me, J. Cole serves as a defender – he is not afraid to speak about the issues in our society. He may be exaggerating is society’s observation of black wealth in the United States; however, his opinions hold true more than ever with the current political atmosphere. He has further convinced me to stay focused on college to have success in life. Cole’s hyperbole entitles African-Americans to follow reasonable avenues of financial gain rather than resorting to less secure prospects.

J. Cole converted his beliefs to reality through the Dreamville Foundation. Established in 2011, the foundation is in Fayetteville, Cole’s hometown, and is responsible for annual events that integrate black youth into the community and prepare them for professional development. The foundation sponsors various scholarship opportunities to allow individuals to sustain their ability to chase success. Jermaine’s initiative provides proof for his passion for black youth. His career has been sculpted with consideration for these individuals.

Cole is transformative to society. His music bears heavy-hitting social commentary that emboldens youth. His foundation enhances children in urban areas. Personally, he has provoked me to seek happiness rather than wealth and to revise my professional career choices. Individuals like J. Cole are sparse amongst celebrities.


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