With Roc Nation’s J. Cole continuing to burn the airwaves and blogs, SOHH reached out to the rapper’s fellow North Carolina homegrown producer 9th Wonder to find out why they have yet to lock in studio time together.
Rewarding Cole as one of hip-hop’s most “gifted” emcees out right now, 9th said time restraints have delayed possible collaborations for the time being.
“J. Cole is in New York most of the time,” 9th explained to SOHH. “I don’t be there. I live here [in North Carolina.] But he’s moving and doing his thing so it’s kind of hard for us to get together. It’s kinda hard when it comes to scheduling and it’s not a situation of us not wanting to work together, I think it’s more of a situation of he’s there while I’m here. I don’t think it’s a situation at all of us not wanting to work together, that’s crazy. You’re dealing with two entities with him over there doing his thing. He’s moving and doing well and he’s one of the most gifted emcees that’s out right now in the game and it’s more of a situation dealing with scheduling. It’s not a matter of me not wanting to get up, that’s something else. That’s not the case at all. There’s a lot of artists I want to hear myself with. But you know, you have managers involved, everybody wants to be an A&R, but sometimes they gotta let the artists come in there and do their work. And that’d be it.” (SOHH)
9th also told SOHH he is currently building up his own record company.
“My focus right now is my label,” 9th added. “That’s the biggest goal for me and that’s number one thing on my list. Basically I want to get things moving and put it on everybody’s radar. I want to get the following online, putting out videos and right now things are moving how I want them to. I like to keep things steady and keep them moving at my particular pace instead of racing against everybody else.” (SOHH)
In a recent interview, Cole spoke on his respect and admiration for 9th Wonder.
“Me and 9th speak from time to time,” he said in a June 2010 interview. “Actually, if he’s reading this, I want him to hit me back, because he never hit me back! [laughing] But I’ve been a fan of these guys for years. When I was in high school, I used to go to this club in downtown Chapel Hill, [Local 506]. And on [‘Microphone Mondays’], 9th was deejaying, and there would just be freestyle battles. And basically, long-story-short, [Little Brother] had just gotten a feature in XXL, which was big. When that worked for them, I was like, oh man, they got a real good rating. So I was up there every Monday, getting a dose of some real hip-hop. I always remember like looking up to 9th early on.” (All Hip Hop)
With a debut album coming out this fall, Cole recently cleared up a few misconceptions rap fans have of himself.
“Biggest misconception, [it’s] that I’m a backpack rapper,” Cole said in an interview when asked about the public’s biggest misconception of himself. “I feel that people [assume that], which is cool, I represent the backpack kids but I feel like I got bigger aspirations than just that. I don’t mean to break the hearts of all the backpackers out there but you can’t box me in that small.” (Low Key)
Check out a recent J. Cole interview below: