"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," the Middle Child singer wrote.
In the candid essay, the father-of-two recalled first learning he would be becoming a father in 2016, writing: “A couple weeks prior I learned that I would become a father. It wasn’t a surprise. I had been taking steps to change my life for the past couple years, and I felt ready.”
According to Cole, the news coincided with a time in his life when he had been feeling uninspired, so he briefly returned to New York and the house he had lived in when he first became a signed rapper.
“For the next three months I would wake up in that old, familiar room, putting myself through morning writing drills before heading off to Electric Lady Studios with a short term plan to finish the 4 Your Eyez Only album before the arrival of my first child, and a long term plan of becoming the best rapper I could possibly be before hanging up my jersey, leaving nothing on the table when all was said and done,” the rapper wrote.
In the essay, the Grammy winner noted that four years have passed since then, and that “the fire that was once dying out has returned,” for which he is “grateful”.
“On my career bucket list, there remain a few more items to check off before I give myself permission to enter whatever the next chapter of my life may be,” he concluded. “However, as I approach the summit of this mountain, I still find myself staring at that other one in the distance, wondering if I can climb. At 35 years old, I know that sounds crazy when said out loud, but I believe all of the best dreams do.”
The notoriously private rapper first announced he and Heholt were expecting another child in July 2019, when he revealed the news on the last track of his newest Dreamville album, Revenge of the Dreamers III.
“I had nowhere to go, she gave me a place to stay / She gave me her heart to hold / I still got that s**t to this day," he raps during Sacrifices. "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."
The German-born rapper, whose real name is Jermaine Holt, married Heholt in 2015.
"For a while, I felt a little weird about it,” he told the magazine. “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.
“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.”
Following the publication of the essay, the rapper tweeted Monday: "This s**t was both hella challenging and mad fulfilling to write. Thank you @PlayersTribune for the platform."