There’s always been a correlation between hip-hop and professional sports, basketball in particular, ever since hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow recorded his seminal hit at the time, “Basketball” way back in 1984. With NBA references in many hit songs to NBA players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace, and several others actually recording songs during their NBA careers, the marriage was always genuine.

Although not the first rapper to express genuine interest in actually playing in a professional basketball league, according to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, one current rapper will actually be on the active roster of a professional basketball team this upcoming inaugural season!

Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known to the hip-hop world as J. Cole, has reportedly signed a contract to play in the debut season of the Basketball Africa League. The league is starting its first season this week. J. Cole has signed on as a player for Rwanda’s Patriots Basketball Club, which makes its debut on Sunday against Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers.

Sources: American rap star J. Cole is signing a deal in the Basketball Africa League with Rwanda’s Patriots B.B.C. J. Cole will play 3-to-6 games, the first of which on Sunday vs. Nigeria.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 10, 2021

Reports have come out of Rwanda as well of J.Cole’s impending professional basketball debut.

#BREAKING: American rapper J. Cole @JColeNC is in Rwanda and could feature for local side Patriots at the upcoming Basketball Africa League.

The New Times has learned he is on the club’s roster for the competition.

— The New Times (Rwanda) (@NewTimesRwanda) May 9, 2021

This is not the only J. Cole news as the rapper has recently dropped (May 10) a documentary in anticipation of his latest project.

J. Cole – Applying Pressure: The Off-Season Documentary

Black Enterprise