News: J. Cole Discusses Roc Nation Debut Album Challenges, "I Got Real Picky W/ Beats"

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010 3:15PM

Written by Rosario Harper

Rap newcomer J. Cole has opened up about the challenges he has encountered when picking beats for his Roc Nation debut album.

Though he wants to produce the majority of his debut himself Cole has hit the studio with Kanye West and No I.D.

"I'm in with No I.D. right now. He's incredible. It's fun," Cole said about his album's production. "My favorite producer, after I started producing [and] paying attention to producers, was Kanye...Being in with No I.D. last night and watching him work, it was like, 'Duh.' I been in with other producers, it don't click. It don't connect. It connects with him. I figure if I grew up looking up to Kanye, Kanye is cut from the No ID cloth...I do want to do the majority of the project. The negative side of being a producer and rapper -- 'cause I'm a rapper first -- the negative side of being a producer on top of that is I got real picky with beats. I'm trying to break outta that zone and maybe get on some beats I might not have rapped on before. I think the key of some rap artists is sometime you can make a beat that's not so hot, hot. But the production side of me is [saying], 'You not gonna get on that. Listen to those drums.'" (MTV)

Cole also hinted at an upcoming collaboration track with Pharrell Williams.

"Ah man, Pharrell, that was incredible man," Cole said about working with the producer. "I think he just got named producer of the decade by Billboard and I just read that today, so, even when I read it I was like 'D*mn, I was just in the studio with this dude,' so it's kinda an honor to get some of his time like that and we came out of it with some good material, the song I really like. I'm not gonna speak on it though, [laughs], but just his creative process, he's like an energy guy or whatever so, I seen it before. I was in the studio with Puff and he's an energy guy too, like, you kinda just feed off of him. Like if somebody else plays a beat that he plays, you're not gonna feel the same way because he sells it to you almost. Like his whole body movement, he'll start singing the hook, or his idea for the hook and you're like, 'Yeah, yeah, you know that's hot,' so it's just an honor to be in there with Pharrell...It's gonna be good, man." (One Neck, Two Chains)

He recently confirmed No I.D. being attached to his debut album.

"The plan, finish up this album, make sure that it's classic," Cole said in an interview, "make sure that it's perfect, at least to my eyes and my standards. I got high standards, put it out, hope that it's received well, hopefully [it'll] have some hits and then some more hits and tour the world man, really America. I wanna do a college tour -- production-wise, it's just me and No I.D. and a guy named Science. We've done a couple joints together. But other than that, I'm just trying to [focus] into my production but I'm open to anything man, so, I don't care who it is. Even Pharrell, when we were on tour, Pharrell kept telling me he wanted to get it and I would love to do that." ("Los Angeles Leakers")

Last November, Cole said his album was more than halfway completed.

"If you would have asked me two weeks ago [about the status], I would have told you I was 30 percent, man, [now it's] 70," Cole revealed in an interview. "Like 75, like, this is how many songs, I hit a little streak and now I got some stuff that's impressing me. Like, 'Man, did I just do this song?' I got in with [producer] No I.D. and now, you gotta understand, I've been doing music, myself, my own beats, since I was making my own songs, so it's hard to allow somebody to come in but now the way that we make music, it isn't just 'Oh yeah, I got this beat for you, rap on this beat,' he's in there, I'm in there, there's a guitar player, key player, it feels like you're making an album." (KUBE 93)

No further details have been revealed as of now.

Check out J. Cole speaking on Pharrell down below:

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