Local News

Who Dat in J Cole video? FSU, E.E. Smith High students, that's who

Posted June 30, 2010

— Cheerleaders and band members from Fayetteville State University and a local high school appear in an explicit version of a rap video that's gotten more than 3 million views on You Tube.

Now, administrators at the schools say they are dealing with fallout associated with what they are calling bad publicity.

"This is an institution that's 143 years old. We've got a broad range of constituencies," Thomas Conway, vice chancellor and chief of staff of Fayetteville State, said Wednesday. "We have to be concerned about what they all think on any given day."

Rapper J. Cole, a graduate of Terry Sanford High School, filmed his "Who Dat" video in downtown Fayetteville in the spring. It included appearances from Fayetteville State cheerleaders and band members from E.E. Smith High School.

Administrators say the video's producer pitched a product that would be positive and presented lyrics contrary to the profane, racial and sexually themed ones in the video.

"It was not appropriate for our young people to be in that video at all," Cumberland County Schools Superintendent Frank Till said. "It wasn't cleared properly. It was signed off by the school but not the district."

Till said he believes the video has hurt the reputation of E.E. Smith, which has worked hard in previous years to clean up its image and improve student performance.

Explicit rap video features local students Explicit rap video features local students

Several years ago, the school was a low-achieving school. New numbers show student test scores rose 18.6 percent this past school year

"Now this is the image the public is seeing," Till said. "There will people who believe it is still the E.E. Smith of old as opposed to the new E. E. Smith that has great achievement and students that are going to college at a higher rate and going tot the best colleges. So, we're spending a lot of time defending as opposed to talking about the positive."

Till has sent a letter to producer BBGun Films asking that the video be retracted immediately or that the school's logo be edited from the video.

"I'm not optimistic that's going to occur," he said.

Fayetteville State Chancellor James Anderson has sent a letter to school alumni apologizing, saying the head of cheerleading at the university has taken responsibility for the appearance.

"If you look at it from the perspective of the young college-age students, by and large, they see no problem with being in the video or doing the video, but the reality is the citizens of the state, the alumni, are helping us pay for these students to be in school," Conway said. "It's my sincere hope that the institution doesn't get characterized by this one music video."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • tarheelyfe91 Jul 6, 2010

    Man yall dont know nothing about about J. Cole. Some of yall dont even know the title of the song. I will admit that this song may not be appropriate for kids in that video but this is what they wanna hear at the same time, but I also know that he does make some inspirational music. and you may not consider him a role model but I bet hardly any of you know that this man graduated from St. John's University(Magna Cum Laude), while chasing his dreams, and he has caught them. So I applaud him for that, I'm working on the same at NCCU, trying to be a music producer, which Cole also is. So maybe I wanna be a little bit like J. Cole. and as for EE Smith and FSU, anybody that knows about yall, knows that yall aint nearly as high and mighty as yall trying to make yourselves look, so get outta here with that nonsense. Yall aint fooling nobody in the Fort Bragg area, we know yall. so stop frontin!!

  • whatwhat25 Jul 2, 2010

    "Its not the genre of music, but this J Cole song is nothing but a spewing of foul language, broken English, and definitely a nasty message that is well-deserving of an explicit label"

    Larry The Cable Guy has made a career off using foul language and broken English. Are you equally upset about that? Its all entertainment. Quit the selective criticism.

  • the people Jul 2, 2010

    Let's do our self a favor take a kid fishing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop the mess!!!!!! Education can be had on a farm,learning to work,work ETHIC is lost some what,when you forget how to work!!!! Do some thing good!!!!!! Anything,it will be O.K!!!!1

  • Alexia.1 Jul 2, 2010

    whatwhat25, KISS and a lot of bands sang songs that were on charts around the world and they toured around the world. Those bands had international respect. There are certainly some rappers that have toured the world (e.g., Run DMC) and were famous the world over. But, Run DMC has a song called "It's Like That" vs. J. Cole has "What Dat".

    It's not the genre of music, but this J Cole song is nothing but a spewing of foul language, broken English, and definitely a nasty message that is well-deserving of an explicit label.

  • whatwhat25 Jul 2, 2010

    "You are absolutely correct because the band "Kiss" is respected all over the world for good music. This so called rap is not."

    That is very a immature and narrow-minded statement. KISS sang about sex, drugs and violence was that any better? They also used public school figures in much the same manner. Like it or not, rap/hip-hop is respected all over the world and is considered good music to many. To condemn a song/artist because you don't like the genre of music is misguided.

  • Dr.Moufunchitz Jul 1, 2010

    "If this was a KISS video this would not be a big deal".

    You are absolutely correct because the band "Kiss" is respected all over the world for good music. This so called rap is not.

  • finicula Jul 1, 2010

    Is this intended to be an inspirational rap?
    The little ones dogging Cole's footsteps should have been running in the opposite direction.
    The burning car was appropriate - with one exception; the back seat should have been filled to it's roof with this CD.

  • whatwhat25 Jul 1, 2010

    I've watched the video several times and have yet to find anything offensive or controversial. Is it beacuse its a rap song? Is it because buildings are exploding Fayetteville while hes walking? Is everybody upset with the title of the song? If this was a KISS video this would not be a big deal.

  • Dr.Moufunchitz Jul 1, 2010

    "So when they're 40 and on food stamps with a house full of kids, they can brag that they were in this video. Yeah, that should help feed the kids."

    I agree 1000% waste of tax payers dollars and promotes crime

  • SaltlifeLady Jul 1, 2010

    The media is giving this video and rapper the publicity, and bringing the attention to the schools. Whiel the words to the song are explicit, I dont think the cheerleaders and bandmembers acted in any appropriate way. Also, since I do not live in Fayetteville, I would not have known those people were from the two named schools until the media mentioned it. I dont think leaders should be so harsh on the schools.... I do think if anyone should be upset it should be city leaders. To show the Fayetteville sign and portray the city itself aesthetically in such a poor manner, that is what I would be upset. If someone had never been to Fayetteville and had never seen the nicer parts of it and all the history it has to offer, I certainly would not want to live there after seeing that video. It looks like a junky, dumpyard hole.