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It’s been a long time since J. Cole sat down for an in-depth interview, therefore every word he spoke in this Vulture piece holds significant value to how the rapper feels at this point in time.
Not only does Cole give insight on his most talked about records on KOD, he explains his past with depression, getting back to the music, addiction, and more.
Here are some pivotal moments in the interview:
Cole on new generation of rappers:
“If you exclude the top three rappers in the game, the most popping rappers all are exaggerated versions of black stereotypes. “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.”
Cole on happiness + depression:
“Once I took control of my own shit, stopped giving power to other people for my happiness and success, it became like, Oh word, I’ll show you how boring I am. And it became another person to prove wrong.”
I’d been depressed for like three years. And I realized I was putting too much importance on what other people thought about me. Also, my mom going through her shit had a traumatic impact on me, and I never had a chance to process that shit. I just put my head down. I wasn’t having an honest conversation with myself.”
Cole on Inspiration + Kendrick Lamar:
“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,” “It was a recognition — like Oh, I’ll take that again. Like looking at a menu, I’ll have that again.”
Cole on BEING YOURSELF:
“It’s appealing to be in a room full of famous people – it says I’m important enough to be here. But it [comes with] the pressure of wanting to be somebody — like, Who am I supposed to be in this party? Around all these famous-ass people, who am I supposed to be? You’re supposed to be yourself,” “Now, if I’m going in, I’m going in as me.”
Read the full interview on vulture.