J.Cole Returns To Queens Crib For MTV ‘Life & Rhymes’ Special

The Roc Nation rapper remembers his 'broke struggle period' at his old apartment and breaks down the lyrics to 'Crooked Smile.'

With his sophomore album Born Sinner already certified gold, J. Cole isn’t scrambling to pay his bills these days, but the struggle isn’t too far in the rearview mirror for the Roc Nation rapper. In tonight’s MTV special, “Life & Rhymes: J.Cole,” which debuts at 7:54 p.m. ET, he’s taking fans back to a previous life to dissect some of his current lyrics.

The North Carolina native will bring viewers to the apartment he lived in during and after his graduation St. John’s University in Queens, New York, a location he frequently mentions in “Crooked Smile.”

“We shot it crazy in Queens,” he explained of the special on “RapFix Live” earlier this year. “We went back to Mohammed’s crib–I talk about Mohammed’s crib in ’Power Trip’ and some of these other songs, because that was my last place in college.”

“My senior year of college, and then the ’broke struggle period’ of barely surviving and floating I was there. This man let me stack up my rent to the ceiling–thousands upon thousands [of dollars] that I owe for this crib. So went back to this crib, shot scenes there , talked about all about the song ’Crooked Smile’ and all about how I made the song, because it really a journey to make that song.”

Tune into MTV now to catch “Life & Rhymes: J.Cole.”

A native of Grenada, a product of Brooklyn, a student of hip-hop.