Interview with Nathalie Cole (J. Cole Eye Tat Girl)
There has been an onslaught of music-related tattoos within the past month. It was just two months ago when the internet was in frenzy as headlines over the girl with the Drake forehead tattoo. Celebs have also been jumping on this ship: Drake recently got Aaliyah tatted on his back; Zac Efron tatted “YOLO” on his finger; Rihanna inked “Thug Life” on her knuckles; and let’s not forget Bizarre with the Nicki Minaj portrait tattoo on his arm.
A couple months back, J.Cole tweeted a picture of a fan that tattooed “Cole World” on the side of her finger. But it gets better. While on Twitter recently, I discovered a picture of a fan that tattooed J.Cole’s eyes on her back. That fan goes by the name Nathalie and I had the chance to interview her about her tattoo of choice. See the Q&A below.
Roc4Life: Is there something specific that prompted you to get a tattoo? Why a J.Cole related tattoo?
Nathalie: I wanted a tattoo for a while, I wanted something meaningful. I never was a big fan to no artists before so it’s pretty crazy for me to get a tattoo. I don’t regret it because he changed my perspective on life. In my eyes, he is the best MC. J. Cole’s very lyrical and I’m glad he made it this far. I’ll forever be a fan.
Was the tattoo an impulsive decision, or had you been thinking about it for a while?
It definitely wasn’t an impulsive decision, I thought about for months before actually getting it done. When I was going over to my tattoo artist’ parlor, I thought about it over and over in my mind. I was pretty sure I wanted it. I’m glad I got it, now I can tell my future kids about the chosen one who saved hip hop.
He has eyes of passion which you can see it in his eyes. He is desired to his music. You don’t know what he’s thinking, but you look in those eyes and it feels like he’s rapping to you in particular. I didn’t want to get his whole face because I think that’s over the top. My tattoo is not finished; I want to get a quote underneath his eyes then it’ll be done.
Is there a specific verse, or project from Cole that has inspired or impacted you the most?
Oh yes indeed, there are many verses. Like this one, “I seen a baby cry then seconds later she laughed. The beauty of life, the pain never lasts”. That quote impacted me the most because there was a point in my life I was emotionally numb and I wasn’t happy. I would replay The Badness by J. Cole every day ‘till one day the pain was gone. That song is one of my top 5 favorite songs.
What has been the reaction so far about your tattoo?
A lot of the reactions are not negative. I thought there would be more people bashing on me. But there isn’t a lot. Some of J. Cole’s fans love it and understand my point on why I got it. I honestly, don’t pay mind to those who have negative things to say about my tattoo. It’s my back, not there’s so it shouldn’t bother them. My mother hasn’t seen it yet; I wonder what her reaction going to be. I bet she’ll love it. She loves how J. Cole speaks the truth about life.
Do you plan on getting any more J. Cole related tattoos in the future? If so, of what?
Yea I want a couple or few quotes. There’s so many it’s so hard to pick from. These are my top five favorite quotes:
- “And even when it’s dark out, the sun is shining somewhere” (“Premeditated Murder”)
- “Overdraft with the sky overcast, but I’m screaming f-ck the pessimist, cause there ain’t no holding me back” (“No Holding Me Back”)
- “If my heart stop pumping tomorrow don’t feel no sorrow ‘cause life is hard mentally and everything is meant to be.” (“Hold It Down”)
- “Nobody truly know me got me feelin so alone, they wonder what’s on my mind, what’s lingerin’ in my dome, I tell them ain’t nothing wrong I’ll deal with it on my own” (“Welcome”)
- “I’m through living in the past Lord, no more thinking rewind and more fast forward. Less rearview mirror and more dashboard” (“Rags to Riches”)
I don’t know if you are aware of this, but there is a Drake fan that got Drake tattooed across her forehead. What are your thoughts on this? Would you go to that extreme?
Yes I’ve seen that. I don’t know, but that’s way over the top. I mean she could’ve put it in a better place not her face and a little smaller would’ve looked way better. I don’t understand how she can live like that. It’s just crazy. That’s your face — the most valuable part of your body. I would never go to that extent, I’m not that crazy. That’s something you’ll most definitely regret throughout your life.
I think the line is drawn between die- hard fans if the tattoo is meaningful and has value. But getting an un-meaningful tattoo where it’s visible is just outright crazy. There are different views to how people want to take action.
Any words you wish to leave to those who are calling you “crazy” because of your tattoo choice?
I love my tattoo; it gradually took me to a happy positive place in my life. I’m very glad I decided to take action on getting it. It shouldn’t bother people simply because it’s on my back not yours. Honestly, be happy for me. J. Cole’s my idol, savior, and inspiration.
It seems to me this new generation of artists, especially rappers, have some die-hard fan bases. I only foresee this tattoo trend growing even more rapidly in the near future.
As a final thought, Nathalie had this to say to J.Cole: “Keep up the great work and stay true to your music.” My only question now is: Cole, do you know it’s real?
— Megan Sumpton