I pray for Markelle ’cause they fucked 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
With the NBA Draft today I was looking for a relevant #RushHourRap (we already did Draft Day) so what better excuse for some more J. Cole? On last year’s Grammy winning 21 Savage track “A Lot,” Cole swoops in with one of the best features of his career as he gives life advice to everyone, including Orlando Magic point guard (and friend of The 300s) Markelle Fultz.
Check out just how impactful that J. Cole line was for a struggling Fultz in this interview with NBA.com:
A verse written by J. Cole in that song helped inspire Magic guard Markelle Fultz and let the former No. 1 overall Draft pick know that not everyone had given up on his struggling basketball career.
Here’s the backstory: J. Cole and Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. are both from Fayetteville, N.C., and have known each other for years. Smith is also close to Fultz from NBA Summer League and the two refer to each other as brothers. Roughly a year ago, Smith described how his “brother” was hurting to the five-time Grammy nominee.
Less than a year after being chosen by the Sixers in 2017, Fultz suffered from a shoulder injury and was later diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which robbed him of his full-range shooting motion and jeopardized his future. Fultz played only 33 games his first two seasons and the Sixers virtually gave him to the Magic last February.
“He was going through a situation and it was a tough situation for someone mentally,” Smith Jr. said. “Cole said, ‘Let me holla at him.’ They just locked in. Cole chopped it up with him and one thing led to another. Crazy.”
Billboard Magazine rated “A Lot” by 21 Savage and J. Cole as the No. 6 song of 2019. It has gone platinum three times and Cole’s lyrics were hailed by critics. Fultz was nearly moved to tears the first time he heard it.
“It was dope,” Fultz said. “Him shouting me out on a song really showed the love and the person he is. I play it a lot, all the time. I love it. To get put in a song is like, dope, an honor.”