Rap fans were surprised enough to see that J. Cole was featured on 21 Savage's new album "i am > i was," but that surprise turned over to the sports world when he mentioned this year's enigma Markelle Fultz on the opening track of the album. The verse is what anyone who listened to "KOD," Cole's most recent LP, would expect, complete with a reference to the fact that he even appeared on a 21 Savage album.
In the verse, Cole says in no uncertain terms what he thinks happened to Fultz, who is still out with thoracic outlet syndrome. He was also very supportive of Fultz, saying the former No. 1 pick out of Washington is clearly very talented.
I pray for Markelle 'cause they f----- up his shot
Just want you to know that you got it
Though I never met you, I know that you special
And that the Lord blessed you, don't doubt it
Dennis Smith Jr., stay solid
I'm on a tangent, not how I planned it
Smith is averaging 13 points with the Mavericks in 28.5 minutes per game this year, and he has shown a lot of potential for the Mavs. Between him and Luka Doncic, there seems to be a lot to be excited about in Dallas.
Twitter, of course, had plenty to say about the reference.
If a J Cole S/O doesn’t save Markelle I don’t know what else there is to do.— Wes Jackson (@wayzgame) December 21, 2018
However, not everyone agreed with the sentiment.
Imagine thinking anyone but Markelle messed up his own shot lmao— alpacheeno (@need2forgether) December 21, 2018
Never seen someone have to get a medical diagnosis for sucking at basketball— Ben Davis (@ben_davis113) December 21, 2018
Sports and hip-hop, of course, are no strangers to each other. In Kendrick Lamar's "Black Boy Fly," for example, he raps "I used to be jealous of Arron Afflalo," who played high school ball in Compton and once sold bootleg CDs to Lamar. That's just one of hundreds of examples, but it's not surprising that Cole has a pretty strong take about what happened to Fultz.