Renowned producer DJ Premier has share his thoughts on rap rookies Drake and J. Cole, applauding their level of lyricism.
From Premier’s perspective, both artists are taking hip-hop back to its essential form.
“[Drake] brought lyricism back,” he said of the Toronto-native. “For a 22-year-old man, he brought lyricism back. When [Gang Starr‘s] Step In The Arena came out, I was 22-years-old. And I just thought about it, I was like, ‘D*mn, I was a youngster.’ I wasn’t 30, 31. I was 22 and coming with heat. And that’s why I like that he’s bringing stuff back….J. Cole, I like that he’s bringing lyrics back. Everything doesn’t have to be super, over-lyrical, but we do pride ourselves on cats that can spit, because [rap music] was always a competition about who got the dopest rhymes.” (XXL Mag)
In the spring, lyrical rap veteran Nas gave props to Drake and J. Cole.
“We love them, all of them,” Nas said referring to rap newcomers. “Jay Electronica, J. Cole, Drake, Nicki Minaj, everybody. We love them. They’re extended family right there. I think J. Cole is fire. I think Drake is fire too. Those are the next ones up, we just have to see have to see what they do, get to the plate and hold that bat up and knock it out the park.” (Rap-Up)
Prior to releasing his Thank Me Later debut last June, Drake said he was studying the likes of Nas and Andre 3000 for his album.
“It’s gonna be bigger, it’s gonna sound happier,” Drake said comparing it to his So Far Gone album. “Yeah, it’s gonna sound bigger, it’s gonna sound victorious because that’s where I am in my life — I really studied Nas to be honest, Nas was like somebody that I used to listen to his raps and not really understand ‘how’ he did it, I always wanted to understand how he painted those pictures and his bar structure and all of that. I went back and really studied Nas, studied Andre 3000 [for this album] and I hope you like it.” (IM Flashy)
In May, Cole revealed how he used to study raps by Eminem and Canibus.
“I don’t know if I’m on his radar yet, but I used to hang Eminemraps on my wall,” Cole revealed in an interview with DJ Whoo Kid. “I have people’s raps on my wall, but his raps and then Canibus’ raps were the only ones that could get close to the bed spread and when I’d first wake up and want to read some raps, they were always there.” (Radio Planet TV)
Check out a recent Drake interview below: