Roc Nation’s J. Cole has opened up about his admiration for rap veteran Nas and revealed a recent encounter with the Queens, New York hip-hop legend.
While addressing fans’ comparisons of himself to Nasty Nas, Cole also entertained the idea of doing a full collaboration project with the rapper.
“It don’t even sound right to me [that I’m compared frequently to Nas], ’cause Nas is [in] another stratosphere, but there has been some dialogue,” Cole said in an interview with radio host Bootleg Kev. “When I met him, I tried to give him like extra props – like I tried to bow down in his presence. He kinda wouldn’t let me, ’cause he’s like, ‘Man, I’m a fan of yours.’ … It’s impossible for you to be a fan of mine; it’s not supposed to happen like that — Man, I’d do a whole album with Nas.” More than just speculation, J added, “Whenever Nas is ready, I’m ready.” (Bootleg Kev)
In May, Cole talked about being signed to Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation label and receiving comparisons to Nas.
“Honestly, I don’t know why Jay picked me to be the first artist on Roc Nation,” Cole said in an interview. “Because the direction they were going with Roc Nation, originally, I think was more pop based and more, think Rihanna, things of that nature because around that time especially, a year and a half ago, two years, rap wasn’t looking good. The caliber of artists and subject matter wasn’t there but I guess after he heard me, I guess he kinda had a change of heart. I think it was a breath of fresh air…Drake comparing me to Nas, I really kinda misspoke. I didn’t want it to come across how it came across, it’s really flattering that he would say that because I knew where he was coming from and what he was saying about that, so, I mean, to be compared to Nas by anybody, I don’t care who it is, it is an honor but like I say, my only point was that it’s one thing to compare, but, those guys got so many years in the game, you gotta do a lot more. It’s like when they called everybody the next Jordan and they would just fade away so quick but you know, that’s not gonna be me.” (“Sucker Free Sundays”)
Last year, Drake explained why Cole reminded him of Nas.
“I’m at the starting line,” Drake said in an interview. “Those guys are at home, putting on their tracksuits, getting ready to make their attack. When J. Cole gets it super-right, I think he’s gonna have a place as a Nas-type character who really stands for hip-hop, but still makes ill records that everybody f*cks with.” (Complex)
Little Brother’s Big Pooh recently told SOHH the fellow North Carolina artist reminded him of Nas.
“I like J. Cole,” Pooh told SOHH, “I listen to some of his material and I was kinda late as far as checking him out or whatever, but I think he’s got a chance to really, really, make a mark and an imprint. It’s funny because I didn’t really think about it until I saw Drake say it in an interview but it’s almost like he’s right but it’s almost like Drake is taking the Jay-Z approach and Cole is like, taking the Nas approach on how they’re creating and I kinda see him almost in that mode. I just hope he comes out and he defines his own success and he don’t necessarily worry about putting North Carolina on his back but doing what’s best for J. Cole. If he do that, then North Carolina will be behind him.” (SOHH)
Check out J. Cole’s interview below: