Rapper J. Cole is a dad times two.
In a personal essay penned for The Players' Tribune and published on Monday, the typically private Grammy-winning performer recounted his journey between two passions: basketball and rap. While he recalled the highlights, setbacks and conflicts of his two pursuits, the star also confirmed some personal news in the process—that he is a father to two boys.
Recalling an unspecified time in 2016, he wrote, "A couple weeks prior I learned that I would become a father. It wasn't a surprise. I had been taking steps to change my life for the past couple years, and I felt ready."
He went on to summarize, "Four years have passed. In that time I've been blessed with two sons, learned the delicate art of balance between parenthood and career, had the pleasure of working with a ton of talented artists as a featured rapper, spent 10 magical days recording a Dreamville album in Atlanta, and put a lot of time and energy into sharpening my sword and growing as an artist."
Referring to the piece, the artist tweeted on Monday, "This s--t was both hella challenging and mad fulfilling to write. Thank you @PlayersTribune for the platform."
The private star, who quietly married his college sweetheart Melissa Heholt years ago, recently spoke of fatherhood in a March 2019 interview with GQ. At the time, it was known J. Cole had welcomed one son. A few months later, in July 2019, he rapped on the track "Sacrifices," "She gave me the gift of my son, and plus we got one on the way." However, the performer had not confirmed the second little one's arrival until now.
Regarding the recurring question of whether being a dad has change him, he told the magazine, "For a while, I felt a little weird about it. Like, nah. I felt, 'Did I miss something?' 'Cause I didn't feel the change that people talk about. And then I figured out what it was."
He further explained, "I changed my life in order to get ready to have a family and to have a son. I literally changed my life, where I was living, the things that I was doing. I changed. So because of that, when my son came, I was ready. I already made room."