J. Cole announced his second child on the way in July 2019, in the closing lyrics of his song "Sacrifices"

By Jen Juneau
July 21, 2020 01:06 PM
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J. Cole
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J. Cole is a father of two.

The notoriously private "Middle Child" rapper, 35, confirmed in a candid, personal essay published Monday on The Players' Tribune, titled "The Audacity," that he and wife Melissa Heholt have welcomed a second son together.

"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," Cole — whose next album, The Fall Off, is slated for release this year — wrote of how he has spent the last four years.

The musician recalled "learn(ing) that I would become a father" for the first time at some point in 2016 earlier in his essay, saying it "wasn't a surprise" to hear the news.

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J. Cole
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"I had been taking steps to change my life for the past couple years, and I felt ready," Cole said.

In the four years since, "The fire that was once dying out has returned, and for that I'm grateful," Cole continued near the end of his essay. "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."

"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," he added, concluding, "At 35 years old, I know that sounds crazy when said out loud, but I believe all of the best dreams do."

The Grammy winner took a nontraditional approach to revealing the news that he and Heholt, 32, had a second baby on the way in July 2019, sneaking it into his newest Dreamville album, Revenge of the Dreamers III.

J. Cole and Melissa Heholt
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In the final track, "Sacrifices," Cole dropped the secret in his closing lyrics, first rapping about his love for Heholt and then saying the couple was expecting again. "I had nowhere to go, she gave me a place to stay / She gave me her heart to hold / I still got that s--- to this day," he began.

"She gave me the gift of my son / and plus we got one on the way," he continued. "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."

J. Cole, whose real name is Jermaine Cole, and Heholt married in 2015. The couple did not confirm they had a first son until Cole's 2018 interview with radio DJ Angie Martinez, during which he said his purpose in life was "to be a father and a husband."

"But I feel like I've created a life where my purpose is too much placed in music," he added in the interview. "When I'm home and I come home, outside of like playing with my son, if I go three days without doing music, making a beat, writing a song … I start to feel, like, miserable."