J. Cole Discusses New Album, Being Inspired By Kendrick Lamar And Getting Advice From Dave Chappelle
Speaking with Paul Cantor for Vulture, the Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper discusses KOD, receiving baby advice from comedian Dave Chappelle, how Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. tour motivated his own album and Donald Glover‘s Deadpool script.
In regards to KOD, Cole revealed that the enigmatic “kiLL Edward,” the only guest appearance on the album, is his alter ego, and is inspired by his stepfather Edward. He also expanded on his thoughts about the current crop of young rappers, a topic many fans believe he addresses in KOD‘s last track, “1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”).”
“If you exclude the top three rappers in the game, the most popping rappers all are exaggerated versions of black stereotypes,” Cole said. “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.”
However, there are some contemporary rappers Cole does enjoy including XXXTentacion, Trippie Redd, and Lil Baby.
Cole also discusses addiction, one of the bigger themes discussed throughout his new album.
“We live in a society where all this drug use is normalized, it’s the norm, it’s okay, it’s fucking encouraged, it’s fucking promoted,” the rapper said. “You turn on the TV — you feeling down? Of course I’m feeling down, I’m a fucking human being. Try this. Whatever this thing is. Like, nah, how about you actually feel sad and figure out what the fuck it is that got you feeling sad, so you can work on that?”
Other notable quotes from the interview can be read below. The interview can be read in its entirety here.
On receiving baby advice from Dave Chappelle:
“He said: You’ll hit another gear, you’ll hit a gear that you never knew you had when you have kids. It actually proved to be true.”
On being inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. tour:
“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.”
On Donald Glover’s Deadpool script:
“That was just a flex,” Cole says. “Like, Here, let me show you what I can do.”