J. Cole: The Follow-Up [Interview]
Toronto, ON – Even if you weren’t one of the thousands of people to recently download the new J. Cole mixtape, Friday Night Lights — and don’t already have The Come Up or The Warm Up in your catalogue — if you’ve been following HipHopCanada in the past few weeks you’d be no stranger to who this young Fayetteville, North Carolina MC is and what he’s all about.
HipHopCanada was lucky enough to sit down with with J. Cole a couple of weeks prior to his December 3rd concert in Toronto and during that event this past Friday we were able to catch up with him again for some follow-up questions. Enjoy.
HipHopCanada: If there is any, what’s your creative energy like with Drake?
J. Cole: Creative energy between us… It’s just a friendship man that’s really what it is. I think everything happens organically. First, it was a mutual respect and from that grows a friendship. I feel like I’m on tour, he just got off tour, but we’re going on tour together in January. I feel like that’s when we’ll really find out. I feel like we haven’t really had a chance, even though we did “In The Morning” together and we probably got some other stuff in the works, I feel like that’s the next phase. We’ll see how that goes, the creative part.
HipHopCanada: How did you and Drake connect for that song, by the way? He sounds like he’s in the middle of touring the way his voice rattles.
J. Cole: Yeah, I think he just got off tour. I was in Paris for the first time. I was in Europe. And I got a text over there from him like “Man I just left the studio. I had to leave the studio. I just heard ‘In The Morning.’ The shit was so crazy I’m leaving.” He just gave it a bunch of props. I was like, “I’m thinking about re-doing the song and you making me think about bringing that bitch back to life.” And he said well if you do make sure you have a 16 for me.
HipHopCanada: I know from our last conversation you’re a big Pac fan. You talked about how he is a good example going outside of his own realm and finding stories he could tell. During the time when Pac was alive, what did you connect with?
J. Cole: I don’t think it was one thing in particular. I just felt him. He had that type of voice and that type of passion in his songs. I just felt, whatever this man was talking about, whatever he was saying, it was just that connection. Like, I could listen to him all day. Sometimes I can’t play Pac around certain friends, because I feel like they can’t really connect like I’m connecting. So I just wait till I’m in my own zone.
I could throw Drake on around any one of my friends and it’s like everybody gets it. And we can all enjoy the ride, wherever we’re driving to Drake will get us through. But if I throw on Pac, its different for some reason. It’s like as many fans as he has, everybody doesn’t really connect to him all the time. I don’t know what it was in particular but it was just always like that.
HipHopCanada: We’ve been asking everyone outside to describe to a person outside of Toronto, about a Toronto crowd. So that’s what I want to know. What’s your impression of the Toronto crowd?
J. Cole: My impression is biased after tonight. But incredible energy man like super hungry. Like a hungry crowd. I could feel it from the stage it felt like man. I felt like I could’ve performed for another hour. Like hungry is word. It felt like they were fienin’ for something like this. I don’t know if it’s like this for everybody but, I definitely feel like they appreciate good music and showed a lot of love. I drove by the line earlier and just saw how many people were waiting in the cold. And the line was just long; I would’ve walked out of that line. I wouldn’t have waited in that line. So it was incredible.
HipHopCanada: Trust me man it’s not like that for everybody. They talk about “Screwface Capital” and most people have to work out to win over the crowd here.
J. Cole: Wow! It’s one of those cities?
HipHopCanada: Yeah, absolutely. Some pride themselves on that out here.
J. Cole: Wow. I got lucky then. Thank you, Toronto.
Written by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
Photography by Stolen From Africa for HipHopCanada