With reporting by Sway Calloway
It’s normal to get a little uncomfortable when looking at old photos or videos of yourself. But if you’re able to cut through those cringe-worthy moments with some laughter, then the reflections can be quite amusing.
Thankfully, that’s the approach J. Cole took when watching his “Lights Please” video during the recent “Rap Fix Presents: J. Cole’s The Warm Up – 5 Years Later.” During the 30-minute special, he debuted the video for the fan-favorite cut half a decade after the song was first released, and six years after the visuals were shot.
“I’m not the director, so, it’s a kind of weird director’s cut,” Cole laughed, before taking host Sway and the live studio audience through a scene-by-scene breakdown of the B.B. Gun-directed video.
“This was my first love scene right there, man,” he chuckled, as a shot of him on a bed with the female lead flashed on screen. “I think that was a little too R&B, that shot right there.”
Then there’s a different shot where the rapper — who’s vocal about how he doesn’t smoke — takes a hit from a blunt. “They was begging me, and I folded; I sold out and did it,” he said. “Six years later, I’m regretting it.”
Even so, seeing Cole in such a raw state was fun for everyone. “This is my first video, though, so it’s all rookie stuff.”
“People were asking for this video for so long, I felt bad for holding it back but this is it, they finally get it.”