Typically, the prototype of a man-especially on Valentine’s Day- is an adonis. Tall, handsome, and in impossibly good shape, what society considers the perfect specimen usually resembles something only the best screenwriter can invent. Furthermore, they’re emotionally available, swimming in disposable income and an indescribable lover. In short, he’s everything you probably haven’t had; in fact: this fantasy is the opposite of most men you’ve encountered on your journey to adulthood.
In the ever evolving world of hip hop, the rapper remains the unattainable for “normal” girls everywhere. They’re famous, flossed out, swimming in cash and usually surrounded by women: they have to be perfect, right?
Today, emcees are trading in fairytales for cautionary ones with news of cheating, divorce and children born out of wedlock. The line between fantasy and reality has been drawn and most stand behind the latter. And we like it that way, especially when reflected in music like J. Cole’s.
The Dreamville rep’s penchant for reality raps have transformed him into a new kind of hearthrob; the kind whose imperfections bring him strangely closer to perfection. Sure, there are gold plaques on his wall, but our favorite Carolina boy knows the ins and outs of struggle, from dodging Sallie Mae calls to making rent and of course: all interaction with the opposite sex.
Last year, Cole kicked off V-Day with “Power Trip,” a story of obsession, and one year later, the “born sinner” comes full circle with “She Knows,” a song about the battle between a relationship and temptation. The visuals, starring Best Man Holiday‘s Harold Perrineau and the stunning Rochelle Aytes (Crazy, Sexy, Cool: The TLC Story), put a surprising spin on the Amber Coffman-assisted track and continue to showcase Cole’s love for storytelling.
—Nicole Brown & Sharifa Daniels