Although J. Cole is one of world’s most successful rappers, he will never forget what it’s like to struggle.
During a recent interview with Kevin Hart on his Peacock show Hart to Heart, the North Carolina rapper talked about being careful with his spending due to a “fear” of being broke again.
“I can’t really sit here like some mogul and give business advice ’cause I don’t think I run the best business,” he said. “I’m grateful to have great people around me where it’s like, my money good. I’m smart with my money, and that just comes from fear. I don’t never, ever wanna be broke again so I’m slow to spend.”
He added: “I would definitely say [I’m] mindful because if it’s the right thing, if it’s a family vacation, I’ma spend. I’m not afraid to spend but I’m mindful — yeah, I think mindful is the word.”
J. Cole previously opened up about his financial anxiety on the song “Rich N-ggaz,” from his 2013 album Born Sinner, on which he rapped about growing up poor and later realizing that money can’t buy happiness.
“Worst fear going broke cause I’m bad with money/ Crooked smile n-gga, momma never had the money,” he spit.
The Dreamville founder also discussed his relationship with money in a 2013 interview with The Wall Street Journal, saying his desire to become rich was driven purely by “comfort” and “safety,” as well as the ability to help others.
“I do wanna make a lot of money but that’s only for safety purposes,” he said. “Like, I don’t have a lust of money and I actually don’t even have a love of money. I know these people, they’re my friends and they’re also rappers that I know, they love money, they’re addicted to getting money. And that’s cool, too — that’s what makes some of the most successful businessmen.
“I don’t love money like that. I love the comfort and the safety and the ability to retire my mom or if there’s a problem with my brother or my father has a problem, I like that feeling of being able to provide. So that’s the thing I do love about money.”
“But, to tell you the truth, what makes me the happiest is the music,” he added. “Working on the music. I’m in the studio right now, my album comes out, the response is amazing, that makes me way more happy. If I write a song — I made ‘Let Nas Down,’ a song off my album.
“When I made that song, the feeling that I had after I made that song is way more important to me than making money.”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, J. Cole is currently worth an estimated $60 million. His business portfolio includes his Dreamville record label, annual Dreamville Festival and footwear and apparel partnership with Puma.
The 38-year-old expanded his flagship brand further in 2020 when he launched Dreamville Ventures, a multi-disciplinary media division, and Dreamville Studios, a content studio slated to produce original and co-produced content to broaden his label’s operations.
“Dreamville has always been a mom-and-pop operation with grand ambitions and ideas that extend far beyond music,” Cole said at the time. “The hiring of Damien [Scott] and Candace [Rodney] not only expands our family business with two of the smartest and most capable executives in the industry, but allows us to take a massive leap towards turning those big ideas into reality.”