Our third J Cole interview with commentary (Touring w/ Rihanna 2011)
Our third and most recent interview with J Cole took place June 28, 2011 after his performance on the Rihanna tour in Los Angeles. Personally I was a bit drained going into this interview because I had just interviewed three artists in the previous weeks (I will omit their names but I’m sure you can figure it out if you watch our interviews around that time) that couldn’t talk about anything but how great they were. The days leading up to the interview I spent a good 7-8 hours prepping questions for the interview with Cole but then his label hit me a couple hours before and said due time constrictions I would only get 10 min. As I was driving to venue I was trying to figure out how I was going to cut my two pages of questions into maybe half a page.
As I met up with Mike and Cole they asked if I would mind doing the interview on tour bus, I didn’t mind. That was where we first had our interview, so it made sense and brought everything full circle. I could tell that Cole was excited to talk about his new album. It had been almost two years since I first talked to him and even back then you could tell he was eager to let the world hear his debut album. Although Cole had been around the world and back touring with Drake, Rihanna, Jay-Z and on his own, I could tell that he was still the same person: humble, hungry and not afraid to show a little vulnerability.
Before I knew it we were 10min into our interview and his manager starts giving him the wrap up sign because there were other media outlets waiting outside. Before I could say anything Cole had already told him that we were good and to let the interview go on. It was so refreshing to be able to talk to an artist about complex subjects that before I knew it 20min had passed and his manager once again came on tour bus and told us we had to wrap it up. Again Cole told him to give me a couple more minutes to finish my questions. Interview went on for another 10min for a total of half an hour. At the end of the interview I was humbled when Cole said that I always got the best answers from him because I didn’t ask the same questions all the other outlets kept repeating. If you are a Cole fan this is for you! If you are not yet a fan, I would be surprised if that is still the case by the time you are done watching it.
Exclusive in-depth interview with J Cole! Part 1 starts off with Cole talking about picking a song for Jay-Z to jump on but not wanting to be out shined on his own track. Nick Huff Barili asked Cole if he has ever given an artist a song with verses already on it and then had to go back and re-write his verse, which Cole responded ONCE! …for Kendrick Lamar. Jermaine tells the story of how he gave Kendrick the song Temptations, which Kendrick murdered so bad that it made Cole want to change his verse. He also states that he is not gonna settle for a mixtape for tracks with Kendrick and that even if they have to wait a year he wants it to be for a joint album.
As the conversation continues J Cole talks about the new single Work Out and wanting to have something for label to push to radio. He reminds fans that he is dealing with two labels Roc Nation and Columbia, which takes a while to get everyone on same page. Feeling of pressure is something that never goes away from before when he wasn’t signed to now. Cole elaborates on his twitter headline: My Story aint the only one I’m trying to tell. Cole says what he brings to Hip Hop is the story element like Tupac and Nas, that he feels is not prevalent in Hip Hop right now. Part one of this interview ends with Nick asking Cole about a post he made on his blog about Ted Talks and reforming education. The talk is by Salman Khan and the link is http://www.dreamvillain.net/?p=50
Part 2 starts with Cole talking about the title of the debut album “Cole World — The Sideline Story” and how it came about. The album has evolved from when we first interviewed Cole almost 3 years ago from having NO ID producing most of it to Cole producing most of it. Cole wants to have 15 songs saying Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has 15, Kanye’s College Drop out has 15, even though Jay-Z wants 14.
Cole addresses the criticism that he should work with more mainstream producers saying he has something to prove about his own production. He would rather go out swinging on his own than go ask Swizz Beatz for a radio record. No diss to Swizz intended. How can you knock a man for trying to take control of his own destiny??
Cole says that he has been producing since day 1 and tells the story of the first song he ever did saying he did the beat from one of his Moms cd and wrote the story to that. He was 15 and the song is called The Storm.
Cole says that he appreciates Jay-Z being hands off and its Jay’z respect for Cole’s artistic vision that has allowed Cole to do his own thing.
As the conversation moves along Cole speaks on the High and Lows of the journey, which has been the making of Cole World- The Sideline Story.
Speaking of frustrations he says that the leak of Lost Ones hurt cause the song wasn’t finished and he wanted fans to hear it with in context of the whole album but at the end of the day Cole says his destiny is his destiny and he doesn’t see leaks hurting him.
J Cole talks Paula Abdul influence in new track “Work Out”. The conversation continues with Nick Huff Barili asking J if Pac was alive and they collaborated together what would the track be about. Think you know? Try again! Jermaine doesn’t like to be put in a box. Speaking of which, New Fans vs Old Fans is the next topic we hit, with J saying that his old fans have to give him room to grown but that he will always represent what the love about him. Cole says that some of his favorite artists never grew and that eventually he lost interest in them cause they stayed in the same lane their whole career. Any guesses whom he is talking about? I have a few! Lastly J talks about the deliberate plan to not over-saturate fans with information about his life + leak music every week for the last couple years because the album was not ready. Now that there is a release date you can expect to see a lot more of J COLE. COLEWORLD Sept 27th! Oh wait that’s TODAY!!!!