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“It’s Both Funny And Depressing”—J. Cole Narrates The Racist Police Raid On His House During A Live Show

Rapper J.Cole had his home raided by police in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a number of years ago and ended up having footage from the event captured on his own cameras.

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The incident inspired his song “Neighbors,” because his white neighbors made racist assumptions about what was going on in his house and reported him. Somehow that was enough to get an entire squad to kick down his door. Luckily, no one was home.

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At a concert in Brooklyn in 2017, according to Genius, J. Cole played some of that camera footage and made fun of the many police officers pouring into the empty house, kicking down doors, and trying to turn his cameras away from the house to hide what they were doing.

That footage has made its way to TikTok under the @jcoletok handle:

The footage is disturbing, but J. Cole has a sense of humor about it, laughing about how they didn’t even knock and used his own ski pole to turn the cameras.

@jcoletok/TikTok

He has spoken with more pathos about what the situation taught him about how money doesn’t create safety for Black people in America.

“I was mad as f-ck. But I thought about it, and I had to check myself because I thought that I was guilty of something,” he said. “Every time in this country a Black man gets some money, what’s the first place he moves to? Nine times out of 10, he’s gonna be living next door to somebody who’s not comfortable with your presence, but that’s where we go anyways because we feel validated.”

“What we won’t do is go to one of our neighborhoods, buy some property, built that sh—t up and invest it into the community. I felt like I was guilty of the same sh-t, and it made me write this.”

There’s even some of this footage in the official music video for the song:

In the outro to the song, J. Cole raps, “So much for integration/Don’t know what I was thinkin’/I’m movin’ back to south side.”

Alison Sullivan

Written by Alison Sullivan

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