J. Cole reveals that he gave Kendrick his personal stamp of approval very early in the two rappers' careers.
J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar have been "friendly competitors" for some time now, with plans to drop a collaborative project even before their major label debuts hit the shelves. While the joint-material has still yet to surface, both artists remain adamant that they will release something soon. In a recent interview, Cole didn't say much about any upcoming work with K-Dot, but he did shed some light on how they met in the first place.
“That's my man first and foremost and I just feel proud because I seen it,” said Cole, taking pride in being early on the Kendrick bandwagon. “You know what I mean? Like I tried to tell people early and I never really even stamped nobody before. And before my album was even out, before he even had a deal, I was making sure to stamp him. It’s a long story, but just to even get into how we met, it was so organic.”
Cole expressed that K-Dot's recollection of their first encounter would likely differ from his, which he traced back to an early Lamar perfromance at an album release party for formerduo rap duo U-N-I.
“His version of how he met me is gonna be different…But my first recollection was there was a group who’s now disbanded called U-N-I from L.A. who I was real cool with. Still am cool with. So, they had an album release party in L.A. at this little lounge…They rockin’ the mic and they call up this kid…I didn’t even hear the name,” he revealed. “I just was looking and somebody started rapping."
The North Carolina rapper recalls recognizing Kendrick's talent instantly, and made sure to give him props for his skills after he rapped. "As soon as he started rapping I’m like ‘What the fuck? This nigga’s hungry. Hungry.’ You know what I mean…So, as soon as it’s over, I’m the type of person if I’m feeling something. If I feel a certain way. I’m gonna let you know immediately.”