J. Cole recently discussed which rappers have had the biggest impact on his artistry during an appearance on Hart to Heart with Kevin Hart. The Dreamville rapper listed off several legends of the genre while reflecting on his career.
“I got a whole list of people who are the reason why I’m here — my north stars that I look up to. Obviously, Pac. Jay, Nas, Eminem, André 3000, Lil Wayne. And these are obviously the big bullets,” Cole said.
J. Cole On Stage With JAY-Z
He continued: “I had Royce the 5’9 moments. I had Canibus moments. I had Boom Boom moments. But like in terms of the people that fueled my ambition. That showed me what was really possible. Like the first names I named, those are the highest ones. So those were the people where I was like, ‘Yo, I’m tryna get up there.’ In terms of skill, in terms of success, all of that they fueled it.”
Cole also shared praise for the current generation of rappers in hip-hop, although he directed his comments at the women of the game specifically. “It’s a whole different ball game, like a whole different crop of young superstars and styles,” he added. “I’ve been feeling this for like maybe a year or two — I hate to say it ’cause it almost sounds like pandering — but I really do think like, man, it’s a lot of fire female rappers." He added that they're "doing some of the most exciting [stuff], commercially." Check out a clip from the interview below.
J. Cole His Hip Hop Heroes
Cole is currently in the process of finishing his next studio album, The Fall Off, which follows his 2021 project, The Off-Season. Cole teamed up with his fellow Dreamville rapper, Bas, last month for the single, "Passport Bros."