J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are two corners of the hip-hop triangle leading the industry, which also includes Drake, but that does not mean they are enemies.
The KOD rapper told Vulture about the inspiration behind his new project and how Lamar’s “DAMN.” tour stop in Detroit last year motivated him to create a top-notch 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 said. “It was a recognition – like, ‘Oh, I’ll take that again.’ Like looking at a menu, ‘I’ll have that again.'”
The “ATM” rapper also addressed being labelled as “too boring” to cover magazines in the past: “In 2012, it was infuriating. It was mad hurtful, it felt more like I was a victim.”
But Cole, 33, has learned to move on from the preconceived notions of others. “Once I took control of my own s**t, stopped giving power to other people for my happiness and success, it became like, ‘Oh word, I’ll show you how boring I am,'” he explained. “And it became another person to prove wrong.”
The rapper sent fans into a frenzy when he unexpectedly released his fifth studio album KOD on Friday, April 20, reportedly breaking a Spotify streaming record in the process.