Music News

J. Cole Responds to Cheerleader Controversy from ‘Who Dat” Video

"I'm not mad anymore. I understand where they're coming from and where their mindset is at," he said. "If they had a better grasp of the situation they wouldn't feel how they felt."

Fayetteville  North Carolina native J. Cole has responded to officials from Fayetteville State University who denounced their cheerleader’s participation in the rapper’s “Who Dat” video.

Last month, the school’s chancellor James Anderson said that their cheerleading director used “poor judgment” in allowing their students to be a video with profanity and sexual lyrics.

“After talking to several individuals we have learned that the FSU employee who directs the cheerleaders gave them permission to participate in the video and to wear the Bronco uniforms. Her intention was to provide positive PR for the campus,” he wrote to the school’s alumni. “She previewed a brief trailer (30 seconds) that was provided by the producer as did our general counsel and the athletic director, but the trailer did not include the presentation of the cheerleaders as they would appear in the full video. Moreover, they were led to believe that the cheerleaders would be used in the clean video only.”

Boward County Superintendent Frank Till on Cole’s went further in demanding that the video be removed from the Internet and TV, saying that it reflect very negatively on the city.

““I think it shows the school and the city in a negative light,” Till told the “I think it was a legitimate mistake on the school’s part.”

J. Cole views the entire controversy as a clear example for the generational divide that exists between young and old.

“[This] is something that happens all the time in the black community; it’s like a generational gap,” Cole explained on MTV. “They don’t get it. They can’t really see the good out of the situation. That a kid from Fayetteville made it out and made something for himself. And [now] wants to come back and represent to the rest of the world. But they can’t see past the curse words.”

The young emcee admitted the criticism from his hometown initially bothered him. But that anger dimmed when he factored in the mentality of his detractors.

“I’m not mad anymore. I understand where they’re coming from and where their mindset is at,” he said. “If they had a better grasp of the situation they wouldn’t feel how they felt.”

To date, J. Cole’s “Who Dat” single has reached #93 on Billboard’s Top 100, and #19 on its Hot Rap Songs list.

His debut studio album Cole World is expected to be released on October 26.


I thought I had passed out and dreamed myself back to the late 80s and early 90s. We’re still being outraged by profanity and sex in 2010?

As a HBCU (Historically Black College or university) grad myself, I’m scratching my head at this school’s stance considering that the majority of these institutions invite the biggest urban music stars for their homecoming concert. My school (Morehouse College) was no different. In my four years there, our concerts featured the Hot Boyz, Eve, Mya, Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, Talib Kweli, Kool G. Rap and Jadakiss.

And Fayetteville St. University appears to be no different. Before 2009, the school has hosted Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, T.I., T-Pain and Plies. From that list, it appears that FSU can tolerate goons and trap music more than J. Cole’s shocking potty mouth.

Last year, FSU’s concert featured the man who invented sex himself, Trey Songz. But again, I guess J. Cole’s “sexually themed” lyrics are just too much.

Here is the truth. The only reason the school’s officials are upset is because they didn’t get paid for Cole’s video. People like Jeezy and Plies are “acceptable” at a homecoming concert because they usually yield a good financial return. The FSU cheerleading director allowed her squad to participate in the video for good exposure, not money. And apparently for some of the FSU administration, that is the real objectionable offense.

I am going to be keeping a real close eye on who FSU invites to this year’s homecoming. And if it’s Gucci or Waka Flocka, chancellor James Anderson is getting a phone call from me.



  1. J. cole is a very intelligent man; he make very valid points in this article/conversation. I believe there are many more high school cheerleaders out there deciding which college to take their skills to that would rather pick the school where cheerleaders have been featured in a J. cole video than those whose haven’t.
    J. Cole is the truth.

  2. Myself I really dnt think the video had any type of negative vibe in it with the cheerleaders. Ive went to fayetteville state trust me this video has nothin on what goes on at that campus and in fayetteville period. Beside these are college students they are GROWN!!! end of story

  3. I am in my 60s and a white female, married mother of 3. I have no problem with either the cheerleaders or the high school band appearing in this video. It is an anthem honoring Fayetteville As J Cole was born and raised there, I love the loyalty inherent in that. I can’t believe he ended up doing it in one continuous roll. He’s awesome and sets a new bar for other rap artists — he loves Fayetteville and displays it well in his music video Who Dat? I’m very educated and well-read but I feel his piece speaks proudly in spite of the profanity and occasional vulgarity. It represents his generation and his age group. He is special and the people of Fayetteville should embrace him proudly.

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