J. Cole Becomes First Rapper To Cover ‘NBA 2K’


J. Cole has been unveiled as the first rapper to receive his own cover in the NBA 2K series.

2K Sports announced on Thursday (September 1) that the Dreamville boss is the official cover athlete of the NBA 2K23 DREAMER Edition, which will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox X/S at GameStop in the U.S. and Canada on September 9.

“This shit crazy,” Cole wrote on Twitter while sharing the historic cover, which shows him perched on a floating basketball court in the skies surrounded by clouds. “NBA2K23 cover. [exploding head emojis] DREAMER @NBA2K.”

In addition to gracing the cover, it has been revealed that J. Cole will play a major role in the MyCAREER story mode on Next Gan consoles, representing the “the largest and most involved storyline in franchise history,” according to a press release.

Fellow Dreamville artists Bas and Elite will also be a part of the storyline, helping players befriend the Off-Season rapper and capture the hearts and minds of The City.

NBA 2K has long been a place to discover new musical talent through their game and continues to be a gold standard for showcasing all things basketball culture,” Cole said in a statement. “It’s been an amazing journey to not only appear on a cover of this year’s game, but to be part of the MyCAREER storyline, soundtrack and bring the DREAMER brand into NBA 2K.

“There’s also more to come, so watch out for all things Dreamville and DREAMER brand drops during Seasons and for Bas and Elite in this year’s MyCAREER story.”

Alfie Brody, Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy at NBA 2K, added: “The sheer scale, depth and talent featured in this year’s MyCAREER creates an unparalleled experience within NBA 2K23. At the top of that list of talent is our first cover star who truly sits at the intersection of basketball and music.

“Bringing a visionary like J. Cole and DREAMER into the creative process for both the game and the soundtrack showcases the pillar of culture that NBA 2K23 has become.”

2K Sports has also revealed a portion of the NBA 2K23 soundtrack, which will include Drake and Lil Baby’s “Wants and Needs,” Jack Harlow’s “Nail Tech” and fellow Dreamville representative JID’s “Surround Sound” featuring 21 Savage and Baby Tate, among others.

J. Cole has long been a fan of hoops and continues to moonlight as a professional basketball player outside of rap. He played in a handful of games in the Canadian Elite Basketball League for the the Scarborough Shooting Stars earlier this year.

The 6-foot-3 rapper previously had a stint with the Rwanda-based Patriots Basketball Club in the Basketball Africa League, resulting in him becoming the first rapper to cover SLAM magazine in May 2021.