FSU chancellor upset about students in J. Cole video

FSU cheerleaders and EE Smith HS Marching Band (YouTube)

June 30, 2010 8:53:00 PM PDT
Cheerleaders and band members from a North Carolina college and high school appear in an explicit version of a J. Cole rap video that's gotten three million online views.

The Fayetteville Observer reported the chancellor of Fayetteville State University has apologized to alumni for the appearance of Bronco cheerleaders in the "Who Dat" video. Band members from E.E. Smith High School also appear in the video, which includes profanity and sexually themed lyrics. It filmed in May in downtown Fayetteville.

"It was pretty explicit," E.E. Smith band member Natalie Gordon said. "I didn't think it was that bad, because everybody makes music like that now days."

To view a clean version of the video, click here. The students can be seen in this version as well as the version with unedited lyrics.

"That language, the use of the 'N-word' and 'F-Us' and all those things like that were not appropriate," Cumberland County Superintendent Dr. Frank Till said. "So, I just don't think the language was appropriate. But it was bothersome to me. I don't know where they got the young kids. But to have our band in bothered me."

Dr. Thomas Conway, vice chancellor at FSU, says projects like the video shot normally get lots of scrutiny, but somehow this one slipped through the cracks.

"The cheerleader coach got a call at the last minute, made a decision and that decision turned out to be one that we wish we had back," Conway said.

"I think we demonstrated you don't have to be half naked in a rap video, you don't have to be shaking it in a rap video, but you can appear positively in a rap video," FSU cheerleader Phylicia Jeffreys said.

"To be honest with you all we did was march, all we did was show our faces and that was all he wanted us to do," EE Smith drum major Corey Roberts said.

Still, Conway and Till say the video controversy is overshadowing significant academic improvements made this year at both institutions. Till says he wants the video pulled off YouTube.

"I've sent a letter and I've sent an e-mail and I've called to pull it, but the damage is done," Till said.

Cole is a graduate of Fayetteville's Terry Sanford High School. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany and was raised by his mother who relocated to Fayetteville shortly after Cole was born.

After graduating high school, he attended St. John's University on an academic scholarship where he majored in communication and minored in business, graduating magna cum laude.

To read more about J. Cole, click here.

The 24-year-old rapper is the first artist signed to Jay-Z's new label -- Roc Nation. ABCNews wrote a feature article on him last year. Click here to read.

ABC11 Eyewitness News wants to know what you think. Is it inappropriate for the students to appear in the video? Click here to sound off on our Facebook page.

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