J. Cole in Wonderland: A Cautionary Tale

J. Cole at a ’Born Sinner’ listening party. Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

It was terrifically late, at least 10 pm, when J. Cole staged a listening party for his new album, Born Sinner.

“I bet nobody will like this,” he muttered, slipping into vintage Roc-A-Wear jammies and quaffing a virgin Thug Passion (one part fruit punch, one part sparkling Martinelli’s).

Upon hearing the album’s first words, “it’s way darker this time,” J. Cole fell into a sound sleep.

A white rabbit named Bleekus with a crooked hat and satchel of magical herbs in his waistcoat, emerged from a waterfall painting. “You must appear before my majesty, S. Dot of Wonderland,” he told J. Cole.

Young Cole had only seen the mythical S. Dot once at a planetarium listening party for The Blueprint III.

“You will meet many lost souls in Wonderland. Convince them to stop stripping to enroll in Sociology graduate programs,” said the rabbit. “Make sure they sleep with only students who wear letterman’s jackets.”

Then Bleekus disappeared into the waterfall. J. Cole chased after him.


After thousands of miles spent listening to the rabbit boast of having “next in line in the Roc,” J. Cole approached dry land.

On a beach, a walrus twirled a cane, wearing a newsboy cap and shiny suit. A muscular carpenter covered in Thug Life tattoos accompanied him. He wore a black leather apron, swung a semi-automatic hammer, and roared at J. Cole.

“Where you from!”

“Pac! I studied you at St. John’s!” J. Cole excitedly exclaimed. “I’m real, just like you!

“Me and the walrus heard your album,” 2Pac smirked. “Ain’t that right, walrus?”

“Yo, call me Big,” the walrus responded.

J. Cole dropped to the sand and began digging a hole.

“I knew I should’ve just paid Diddy to executive produce it,” he protested. “But he wanted to name my first and third born, Dreams of Ciroc!”

“You can’t start off your album claiming to brag like Hov and stealing my lines from ‘Juicy.’ The time has come to be original, son.”

“Sometimes I focus on the flow to show the skills I got,” J. Cole defended himself.

“You can rap well and some of your beats are hot, but you need to invent new flows and tell actual stories,” 2Pac said. “To be among the greatest, you need a ’Dear Mama’ or ’The Warning’.”

“I have this story about a girl who I never followed on Twitter, but still smashed,” J. Cole replied proudly. “I’m also thinking of writing a book called The Things Hoes Say.”

“I already wrote that,” Pac taunted. “It was called “’All About U’ and ‘I Get Around.’ You’re taking my advice to ‘rap for the bitches’ a little too far.”

“But I beat the odds like Vegas,” J. Cole huffed. “I even copped a Rah Digga CD once. I’m ready to be the greatest.”

2Pac and Biggie burst into laughter.

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