J. Cole serves as the cover star of GQ‘s April issue. The rare interview, conducted by Allison P. Davis, took place back in February during NBA All-Star Weekend leading up to the 34-year-old’s headlining performance in his home state at the sporting event’s halftime show. The feature focuses on Cole World’s unconventional rise to rap superstardom, while shying away from the spotlight and keeping most of his personal life out of the public eye.

The Dreamville star opens up on avoiding center-of-attention-type moments, getting out of his reclusive comfort zone when it comes to family moments like vacations, being more collaborative and making connections with fellow musicians, the popular ‘J. Cole went platinum with no features’ slogan, the GRAMMYs, his experience first signing with JAY-Z’s Roc Nation and the struggles of getting his Sideline Story debut album out, fatherhood and being prepared once his son was born, the song “1985” and the criticism it received, meeting with Lil’ Pump, and the ten-day Revenge of the Dreamers 3 sessions orchestrated by himself and Dreamville in Atlanta.

See photos from the cover shoot, and read the full feature below.

Continue after the jump….


Photos by Awol Erizku for GQ

Previously: J. Cole – “Middle Child” (Video)