J. Cole speaks on outselling Kanye West, constantly pushing himself forward, and the common criticism that he's too "boring".
J. Cole is definitely winning in most regards. This year he's outsold Kanye West, took over urban radio with "Power Trip," and been mentioned in Kendrick's now ubiquitous "Control" verse. Still, the rapper gets his share of criticisms. One of which that turns up almost exclusively is that his music is "boring". J. Cole spoke with Ernest Baker over at Noisey about his reputation for putting listeners to sleep, competition with Kanye, and how he views himself as a rapper.
Cole was well aware of the common criticism that he's not an exciting rapper. “It’s funny, but it’s sad. Everybody has their own style of music that they like. I could never let that affect me in the way I make music," he explained. "The people who like Soul Plane are probably gonna think Shawshank Redemption is boring. It’s not the end of the world.”
The rapper expressed that he doesn't hold too much stake in the negative comments on social media. “I just gotta disconnect from it, man. You can’t be a commentator and a player at the same time. I don’t have the energy anymore to care about the small talk." he said. "It’s cool that people care, because five years ago, nobody cared, but I don’t care about the chattering. It’s becoming more and more like noise to me.”
As confident an emcee as Cole is, he admitted that he's constantly trying to raise the bar. “I don’t wake up every day like, ‘I got a great status in the rap game.’ No, I feel behind. I don’t feel like I’ve done enough,” he revealed.
The NC rapper shared that while he does have small window to put his success in perspective, his mentality is always to push forward. “I only get brief moments to appreciate things. I might get a two minute thought of like, ‘Wow, you really did sell more than Kanye. You currently have sold more records than Kanye West’s album, which came out the same day.’ Then I’m back to focusing on what’s next.”
Cole did make sure to confirm that he's still confident that he's the best out. “That’s the feeling. That’s how I feel, period.”