J. Cole spoke with Angie Martinez about his five favorite rappers of all time, and how influential Eminem has been on his music.
J. Cole's address of white privilege on "Fire Squad" has consistently been misconstrued as an Eminem diss by fans and media alike. Cole has always been pretty vocal about his admiration for Shady, but he nevertheless took the chance to set the record straight in his recent interview with Angie Martinez.
As an artist who's always been pretty obsessed with being mentioned among the greats, Cole got the chance to list his personal top five rappers of all time, starting things off with a pretty conventional list of Tupac, Biggie, Nas, and Jay Z, but struggling with who would take the final slot. "I wanna say [André] so bad, but Eminem is like solo dolo,” he said. “Andre’s incredible, but he’ll tell you himself, he was in a duo so his workload was a little less, but creatively he’s miles beyond.”
As far as his feeling towards Eminem, nothing has changed. “It’s silly how big of an Eminem fan I am,” he said, stressing that his namedrop on the record was in no way a sign of disrespect. “It was a very select group of top notch people that I worship, and Eminem was literally at the top of that list. My first song sounded like an Eminem bite. If you think I’m dissing Eminem, I know you just read the headline, or you’re listening to the song with the headline in mind.”
You can watch Cole's full interview below. 2014 Forest Hills Drive is available now.