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J. Cole does NBA All-Star Game halftime show with no features

Carolina’s own Cole kept it simple and good.

J. Cole, a popular rapper who is also conveniently a North Carolina native, gave an energetic and simple performance at halftime of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte on Sunday. Wearing a throwback ‘90s era Hornets Starter jacket, Cole ran through a few of his songs including “ATM,” “Love Yourz,” and “No Role Modelz.”

Unlike every performer at last week’s Grammys, Cole also shouted out rapper 21 Savage, who was recently detained by federal immigration authorities and threatened with deportation. Cole made the call-out before doing his own verse on the fairly news 21 song “a Lot.”

J. Cole, who famously went platinum with no features with his album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, did not have any guest performers for his set, unlike most NBA All-Star halftime acts. Unlike Pharrell Williams’ 2018 performance, there were no cars on set or Tron references.

Cole was around on All-Star Saturday as well: he assisted fellow Carolinian Dennis Smith, Jr. during the Slam Dunk Contest … and then attempted his own dunk, which he almost pulled off.

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