J. Cole opens up in an extensive and telling interview.
We're nearly one week removed from J. Cole's K.O.D, which was deemed by yours truly as the year's strongest release thus far. While some critics continue to parrot the age-old narratives surrounding Cole's persona and music, the rapper is no longer concerned with the naysayers. He's reached a point where he's comfortable at the top. While the rapper tends to avoid the spotlight, he recently met up with Vulture for an extensive cover story, which finds Cole reflecting on a variety of topics.
Naturally, the ongoing story-line pitting Cole against insert-young-rapper-here was brought up, and Cole shed some light on his acclaimed "1985." While he doesn't quite name names, he does reveal a little bit of his current mindset.“Why you yelling at your show? You must feel attacked in some kind of way, must feel offended, and if you feel offended, then that means something rings true, something struck a chord," says Cole, no doubt alluding to Smokepurpp's recent "Fuck J. Cole" chant. "That’s cool with me. That’s all I ever want to do.”
He expands on the game's current state, which he refers to as the "cartoon version" of hip-hop. “If you exclude the top three rappers in the game, the most popping rappers all are exaggerated versions of black stereotypes,” he explains. “Extremely tatted up. Colorful hair. Flamboyant. Brand names. It’s caricatures, and still the dominant representation of black people, on the most popular entertainment format for black people, period.”
Speaking of the game's top three rappers, Cole explains how watching Kendrick Lamar perform DAMN. helped reinvigorate his desire to drop a fully-fledged album. “Kendrick’s show gave me chills because I got to see what it was like to have a hit album performed, and it set off a desire,” he says. “It was a recognition — like Oh, I’ll take that again. Like looking at a menu, I’ll have that again.”
For much more from Cole, be sure to peep the entire story here, via Vulture.