Birth Name: Jermaine Lamarr Cole
Place of Birth: Frankfurt, Hesse, West Germany (now Germany)
Date of Birth: January 28, 1985
*father – African-American
*mother – Irish, German, English, Scottish
J. Cole is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and record executive. His songs include “Work Out,” “Power Trip,” “Deja Vu,” “Neighbors,” “KOD,” “ATM,” “Middle Child,” “The Climb Back,” “Interlude,” and “My Life,” and featured vocals on “A Lot,” “The London,” and “All My Life.” He is also known as Therapist, Hollywood Cole, and Kill Edward.
J. Cole was born in the 97th General Hospital, on a United States Army base, in Frankfurt, West Germany, now Germany, to American parents. His father is African-American. His mother, Kay, an actress originally from Michigan, is white, and has Irish, German, English, and Scottish ancestry. J. Cole grew up in Fayettville, North Carolina. He started rapping at age twelve, and making beats at fifteen. J. Cole graduated from St John’s University in New York Magna Cum Laude with a 3.82 GPA. His musical influences are Nas, Outkast, and Canibus.
J. Cole is married to Melissa Heholt, with whom he has two children.
J. Cole has said:
That brainwashing that tells us that light skin is better, it’s subconsciously in us, whether we know it or not… I can identify with White people, because I know my mother, her side of the family, who I love. I’ve had White friends… But at the end of the day, I never felt White. I don’t know what that feels like. I can identify. But never have I felt like I’m one of them… I identify more with what I look like, because that’s how I got treated. Not necessarily in a negative way. But when you get pulled over by the police, I can’t pull out my half-White card. Or if I just meet you on the street, you’re not gonna be like, This guy seems half-White.
J. Cole’s maternal grandfather was William Thomas Parkinson (the son of Floyd A. Parkinson and Anna A. Loftus). William was born in Michigan, to a father from Arkansas and a mother from Northern Ireland. Floyd was the son of Thomas J. Parkinson and Nora Howell. Anna was the daughter of Patrick Loftus and Mary Kenny.
J. Cole’s maternal grandmother is Helen Joanne Hester (the daughter of Edwin M. Hester and Myrtle/Marie M. Wood). Helen was born in Michigan. Edwin was the son of Edwin Miller Hester and Cora May/Mae Myers. J. Cole’s great-grandmother Myrtle/Marie M. was the daughter of Harry Wood and Nellie Martin.
Sources: J. Cole’s maternal grandfather, William Thomas Parkinson, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Obituary of J. Cole’s maternal grandfather, William Thomas Parkinson – http://www.prayfuneral.com
Marriage record of J. Cole’s maternal great-grandparents, Edwin M. Hester and Myrtle/Marie M. Wood – https://www.familysearch.org