News: J. Cole Talks Pressure To Succeed On Roc Nation , "Jay-Z's Shadow Is So Big"

Thursday, Oct 29, 2009 1:20PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap newcomer J. Cole recently discussed his recent signing to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label and admitted he feels pressure to generate his own success.

For Cole, the rapper said he appreciated the challenge to live up to the hype.

"'Cause Jay-Z's shadow is so big, it would be hard for anybody to come out of that," Cole said about feeling pressured to deliver success. "But I'm the type of person where, A., I look at things as challenges, I like challenges and, B., I truly believe that you determine your own destiny. An opportunity is an opportunity, and one of that magnitude would be dumb to pass up, especially when I truly believe that I make my path and I set my course, and where I land, at the end of the day, or the end of my career, [is] because of me. Of course, you get help along the way, and cosigns and management and opportunities and things like that but overall, the ball is in your court basically. In terms of pressure, I used to say I didn't feel any pressure 'cause I really wasn't thinkin' about it, but now that I'm thinkin' about it, it's like a good pressure. I feel the type of pressure that a strong-minded first pick in a draft would feel. 'Cause I feel like a first pick in a draft could either be like, 'D*mn, I'm the first pick! I don't wanna mess up! I don't wanna f*ck this up, they invested a lot of money in me!' or he could be like, 'Yeah, I'm the first round pick, 'cause I worked so hard to be the first round pick. Now I'm gonna show you why I'm the first pick.'" (DJ Booth)

Roc Nation's Wale recently spoke on his role with Jay's popular roster.

"Roc Nation is a family so myself, Melanie Fiona, J. Cole -- it's a lot of these new young faces that you'll probably hear a lot more about in 2010 but myself, J.Cole & Melanie Fiona are carrying the flag as far as Roc Nation goes," Wale explained in an interview. "Some of us signed management [deals], some of us signed label [deals] through Columbia I believe. So it's a family, we talk all the time -- it's a family environment. This whole tour has been a family environment...I make what some people believe to be very good music -- and you can never let the hate stop you. I make good music and I make music for the soul." ("On The Air Idiots")

State Property's Young Chris previously discussed the possibility of signing to Jay-Z's Roc Nation imprint.

"Paper work is everything, so due to the split up with Def Jam, it's taken longer for the deal to happen," Chris said in an interview about their third group project. "Right now we have a deal on the table and it's a toss up between Roc Nation and Interscope...Wherever I go Jay-Z and Mark Ronson are executive producing it together. So that's a great balance." (VIBE)

Jay spoke about the details of his Roc Nation set-up in an interview over the summer.

"Sony is Roc Nation," Jay said in an interview. "That's where Roc Nation's going through. [With Atlantic,] that's pretty much just for this specific album. Roc Nation -- we're experts in marketing and making records. But we do distribution deals. On this one, we're working directly with Atlantic staff, which is Julie [Greenwald], Lyor [Cohen], Kevin [Liles] and [Mike] Kyser. For the rest of the Roc Nation artists, we did a distribution deal with Sony...You have to figure, this is like four years ago [when I approached Def Jam with the same deal idea] and to them it was just like, 'Are you crazy? No! Make a song!' To me it was like, I've sold companies for huge amounts of money. I'm an entrepreneur -- that's what I've been all my life. I can't just sit here and make records and not do anything else. Why wouldn't you want to do this with me? I felt under-utilized." (Billboard)

Check out a recent J. Cole interview below:

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