Enough is enough.
When the hate came by way of Facebook, I laughed. It’s Facebook, what can you do? People will say the craziest things when they’re hidden behind a computer screen. Many students voiced their disapproval of the music of rapper J.Cole on the Student Association Programming Board group on Facebook. They don’t understand the skill level he possesses; that’s nothing new. Same story, different wall post. But, then one contributing writer to the Oswegonian fell victim to the madness too. ::Gasp:: not the school paper, the Heralded Oswegonian! I just wrote an article for them, how could this be?
Well, they did. That’s where the problems start but don’t end. One student correlated J.Cole’s music to hate crimes, his constant rapping about the ghetto (Ahh, the good old inflammatory “ghetto”), and my favorite: “He puts down anyone trying to make an honest living, saying there is no hope.”
I know! I know! I couldn’t believe it either.
Believe it or not, Jessica… Ms. Jessica Bagdovitz, your article seems more likely to cause hate crimes to me. Your piece was not only biased it was widely inaccurate. Your research into who J.Cole is apparently went no farther than to provide a picture of him from jcolemusic.com. Had you taken the time to read on who Jermaine Cole is before running off to quote songs out of context, you would have seen that this artist who “puts down honest living” graduated from St. Johns University. In fact, Mr. Cole graduated Magna Cum Laude. Read even further and you’ll find out that although J.Cole always had aspirations to be a rapper he knew that in this world… A world where journalists MAY find you to be no more than a hate crime inciting artist, an education is valued and even essential to success. So, without sacrificing one for the other, he managed to succeed at both.
I guess you can now see that J.Cole doesn’t make music that’s only tolerable to those who share in his decadent lifestyle. Although, I’m not sure if having four years worth of student loans is typically considered decadent. Whatever. You call it “ta-may-toe” I call it “to-mah-to.”
Ms. Bagdovitz…and hopefully you don’t mind me calling you so.
The conversation over the “n-word” is incredibly complex and convoluted. Its history and impact laps our lifetime more than four-fold. So, I will not engage in the argument of if there is ever an appropriate usage or if the word is ever socially/generationally accepted. The place for that conversation is not here nor does time, or my word count permit. However, know this: Your out-of-context usage of J.Cole’s lyrics was borderline disrespectful, egregious, and out of line. Let me see how to better phrase this: You played yourself. You took less than 16 bars from a song to paint an artist known to uplift, excite and amaze listeners with his broad views, clear insight, humbleness and inspirational background and managed to turn him into a race hating, misogynist.
Look ma, get your act together. We all go to the same school and in my time here I’ve learned the importance of doing my research and not rushing to rash judgment and the importance of integrity; even more so in my writing. All I can do is suggest you do the same. Make it one of the commitments of your spring semester to become an accurate, well versed (pun intended), writer who contributes to this campus’s need for unity. Because right now, you’re “so far gone”.
In properly quoting J.Cole ” science can tell us how/ but they can’t tell us why” and WHY you chose to write such an inconsistent and biased article that can potentially divide a student body is an answer I’m currently in search of.Know this. A formal response with an ACCURATE depiction of J.Cole will be submitted to the Oswegonian this week. I only hope you and the rest of the school are afforded the opportunity to read it . You might learn a thing or two.