The rapper and his wife, Melissa Heholt, welcomed two sons between 2016 and 2020.
J. Cole is a dad of two! In a personal essay for The Players' Tribune, the 35-year-old rapper writes about navigating life with a passion for both music and basketball. As Cole recounts how he chose to pursue a rap career over a chance at the NBA, he also reveals that he and his wife, Melissa Heholt, welcomed two sons along the way.
"A couple weeks prior I learned that I would become a father," he writes of a period in 2016. "It wasn’t a surprise. I had been taking steps to change my life for the past couple years, and I felt ready."
During that time, Cole returned to Queens, New York, where he had the goals of rediscovering his love for rap and finishing his album, 4 Your Eyez Only, before the birth of his baby boy.
Four years later, ahead of the release of his newest album, The Fallout, Cole writes that he's thankful for his personal and professional success.
"I’ve been blessed with two sons, learned the delicate art of balance between parenthood and career, had the pleasure of working with a ton of talented artists as a featured rapper, spent 10 magical days recording a Dreamville album in Atlanta, and put a lot of time and energy into sharpening my sword and growing as an artist," he writes. "The fire that was once dying out has returned, and for that I’m grateful."
In an interview with GQ last year, Cole opened up about how fatherhood had affected his life. At the time, only Cole's eldest son was known publicly.
"For a while, I felt a little weird about it. Like, nah. I felt, 'Did I miss something?' 'Cause I didn't feel the change that people talk about. And then I figured out what it was," he said at the time. "I changed my life in order to get ready to have a family and to have a son. I literally changed my life, where I was living, the things that I was doing. I changed. So because of that, when my son came, I was ready. I already made room."
Rumors of Cole's second son circulated a few months later, when Cole rapped on the track "Sacrifices" with Dreamville and EarthGang.
"She gave me the gift of my son, and plus we got one on the way / She gave me a family to love, for that, I can never repay / I'm crying while writing these words, the tears, they feel good on my face, hey," he rapped.
Click through the gallery below to see more celeb dads.