For the latest edition of the “21 Questions” series, New York Magazine spoke with J. Cole about his thoughts on moving to the Big Apple. Originally from North Carolina the hip hop sensation discussed his likes and dislikes, panhandlers, what it means to be a New Yorker, and why he thinks Donald Trumps public image is clownish.
Here is some highlights from the interview:
What was your first job in New York?
A basketball-coaching job in Queens, coaching kids from ages 9 to 13 in Kew Gardens. They struck me as the type of kids whose parents had money. They were terrible, but I enjoyed it. Even though they sucked, the kids were still fun and cool.
What do you hate most about living in New York?
I hate that I love it so much, but it’s so expensive. I hate the fact that I know that for what I spend for my place, I could live like a king anywhere else in the world. But I love it so much that I settle.
Who is your mortal enemy?
I’m about to start a beef right now. Nah, my enemy is definitely TIME. There is not enough of it. I wish I had more because there are just so many things I want to do.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
The new one’s definitely cleaner and safer, and more inviting. I only saw the old one like two times in my life, when I was 14 or 15. I remember seeing peep shows. I couldn’t really appreciate it then, so I gotta go with the new one.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
Not as much anymore. But when I first got to New York, I was always doing it. I just don't know who to trust anymore. I've seen so many hustles.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
I honestly think he’s a clown, to tell you the truth. Clearly a smart guy who made a lot of money, but his public image is clownish. I can’t take him seriously.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
So many things. First, you can claim birthright: you can be born here and never raised here. Then there's attitude. You coulda been gone from New York for twenty years, but you still carry that attitude with you. But I look at it as knowledge of the city. I feel like I'm a New Yorker because I really know the city. I actually tell the drivers where to go — I have this bad habit, I always question the drivers. I do that all the time because I feel like I know the best way, when really it's like, "Yo, man, shut up. This dude does this every day of his life."
To read the full interview click [here]
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