J. Cole: ‘I Might Not Be as Successful’ If I Had ‘Dark Skin’

He says that's the reality, but maybe he's never heard of Kanye West, Tupac, Biggie or Diddy. 

Jennifer Hudson and J. Cole perform in Hollywood in July. (Michael Buckner/Getty Images for VH1)

Rapper J. Cole, an award nominee at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, discussed a range of issues during a recent interview with BET, including racial profiling and colorism in hip-hop. The North Carolina native said, “I might not be as successful as I am now if I was dark skin.”

He said that’s the reality, but maybe he’s never heard of Kanye, Biggie, Tupac or Diddy?

Youve talked about including dark-skinned women in your music videos versus all light-skinned women. The light-skinned, dark-skinned issue certainly affects women in hip hop; does it affect men in hip hop?

I can’t say it for sure but I just think we’re still in America. We’re still Black Americans. Those mental chains are still in us. 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. 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… I don’t even know if this is going to translate well into text and people not hearing what I’m saying, but it’s a sad reality. So I can only naturally assume it’s probably easier for a light skin male rapper than it might be for a dark skin male rapper. It’s all subconscious s***, nobody’s aware — I think that s*** still subconsciously affects us.

Read more at BET.