— ESPN The Magazine (@ESPNMag) January 20, 2015
J. Cole shouted out Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his album’s outro, despite never meeting the Nascar athlete. The rapper now shares the cover alongside the speedster on ESPN Magazine’s music issue. The sports publication documented a conversation the two North Carolina natives shared when first meeting, and the content speaks volumes on people of all races and cultures sharing the same interests. Read our favorite quote below and the full story here.
EARNHARDT: This will change people’s minds about things. It reminds people that no matter where you’re from or how you dress or look, your interests and likes are more in common with other people than one can imagine. It always makes me laugh when my interests surprise someone, and it’s as fun to enlighten someone as to be enlightened yourself. Be an open-minded individual or you could miss out on some really cool shit.
COLE: I do believe that with these two worlds — NASCAR and hip-hop — there’s something to be said here. Everything that’s happening in the news recently, you’ve got Mike Brown, you’ve got Eric Garner, all these terrible events happening that I feel like the media twists and flips, and there’s all these biases on television that warp the message that’s getting to the NASCAR crowd or this crowd. If there was more of an in-depth, honest look at who these people are — who Mike Brown really was, the fact that this guy had a family that really loved him … and yeah, he had problems. Everybody has problems. That’s one thing that unites us: We have good kids and bad kids. Everybody got bad kids — black and white, rich and poor. Everybody got good kids. I feel like people that look like me and dress like me are often painted as being that bad kid, when in actuality if you got to know us, you would know we’re just like your children.
J. Cole and Dale Earnhardt Jr. talk race and stereotypes in this ESPN Mag cover story.