“I feel like Tupac was really good at that…” – J. Cole [Interview]
Fayetteville, NC – HipHopCanada’s Central Regional Editor, Jonathon “Bizz” Brown, caught up with Roc Nation artist J. Cole to discuss his newly released, internet-service disrupting project Friday Night Lights and a range of other topics. To coincide with J. Cole’s live performance in Toronto on Friday, December 3rd, we’ll be releasing small segments of the dope interview every 2-3 days leading up to the release of the entire interview on the morning of the show. This is the J. Cole HipHopCanada Exclusive (Part 5 of 6). If you haven’t downloaded Friday Night Lights yet you need to check what all the hype is about… click the jump to download it.
HipHopCanada: You’re Twitter description reads “My story ain’t the only one I’m trying to tell.” I found that interesting because in hip-hop especially it’s often assumed your telling first person accounts. Did this happen to you? Is your story real? etc. In Pop, in other genres that’s not expected. It’s not expected that if Beyonce is singing about how her man isn’t irreplaceable, that she’s talking about Jay-Z. But in hip-hop we often do. So, I just wonder is that a barrier you’re trying to break through?
J . Cole: It is. It absolutely is. I feel like Tupac was really good at that. But everybody thought he was rapping from first person, which made him so great. But in actuality, he was just taking on – a lot of it was first person –but majority of times he was taking on the role of somebody. He would never tell you that person but he speak about how they were feeling and what they were going through. Whether they were running from the cops or whether they were in jail, whatever, he would do that. And that’s not why I’m saying I’m doing this or I want to do the same I just think to only tell your story can get boring. That’s why you have these rappers that’s been in the game so long still saying the same things and telling the same stories. And sometimes it’s great and sometimes it gets repetitive and boring. Now if I can break that cycle and get out of that box and tell other peoples stories not just my own then the possibilities are kind of limitless.
Like when Curtis Mayfield had “Pushaman,” he wasn’t actually selling drugs. We know that. Like he wasn’t a ‘pushaman’ but he said it. Whatever he was saying “I’m your pushaman,” he was taking the role of a drug dealer and making it into a super cool song which actually did have a message. But that’s the type of thing I eventually want to get to. I can’t be limited by I got to tell my own story. If I want to make a whole album from the perspective of a drug dealer why shouldn’t I be able to do that?
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
Another excerpt from the interview transcript will be posted on Tuesday, November 30th.
Please note: The entire J. Cole interview transcript will be posted on the morning of the Toronto J. Cole concert – Friday, December 3rd. Stay tuned — the full transcript is much longer than the 6 segments we will be posting. Download the new Friday Night Lights mixtape on J. Cole’s official website by clicking the cover below!
Be sure to purchase tickets in advance for the J. Cole live performance in Toronto on Friday, December 3rd at Sound Academy. Click the flyer for info.
Tags: J. Cole