“You have to have a certain type of intelligence to enjoy J. Cole.”
This phrase and similar have been uttered incessantly since North Carolina rap star J. Cole
hit the scene in 2008. Few know what that “certain level”
actually consisted of—before now. Students at UCLA have devised
what they believe is a mental aptitude test to determine if you’ll
enjoy Cole’s upcoming 4 Your Eyez Only album—before hearing a single bar.
The students tested over 150 Los Angeles-area 17-28-year olds of various educational levels.
Some were admitted fans of Cole, such as Colin Simpson.
“I’m hype,” Simpson. “They said it was too smart for me. They said I basically
failed. I enjoy all his s**t, so I’m excited to hear he got something
coming that I won’t even be able to say why I enjoy. Real Hip-Hop all
Others, like pre-med student Ilene Hawkins were disappointed by the results.
“They said it was far below my intelligence level,” Hawkins regretted. “Let me find out
this n*gga out here mumblin’ and talkin’ about lean. Another
sellout.” Hawkins says “Cole lost a fan” and she won’t be
purchasing the album.
The students who went through the study weren’t allowed to hear the album, but took various
tests such as memory recall and timed algebra exams. They also filled
out a rigorous 150 question survey that asked questions like, “What’s
Black people’s problem?”
Theo Lee, a Cole fan who failed the test, proclaimed, “I’m not sure what having a good memory
and knowing fractions has to do with enjoying a hip-hop song, but I
guess I just don’t fit.”
Jacob Simmons, one of the students who devised the test, explains: “You gotta have a wide
base of knowledge to feel what J. Cole is saying. Dumb people haven’t
been to college. Ignorance is bliss, so they don’t have complex, stressful relationships. They wouldn’t relate. Like if he does wordplay with the elements you need to be able to catch that or the whole vibe is off.”
Apparently, Cole is barely vibing himself. It’s
rumored that J. Cole took the test and barely passed.
J. Cole ponders what it means to barely be intelligent enough to enjoy the music he’s made
When news of Cole’s marginal test results hit social media, Twitter users made a
Twitter user @TinaTinaTinaTurner noted, “These results show that Cole’s heart
isn’t in it. Can’t even enjoy his own music.”
Another fan took a different interpretation, surmising the results meant that he was too
“brilliantly artistic” to know how to enjoy his own art.
More befuddling than Cole’s results are the inconclusive results given to 13 exam takers,
including Charlotte Brown.
“It makes sense. Cause I’ve just never got the hype,” Brown said.