Roc Nation’s J. Cole recently spoke on his admiration for his boss, Jay-Z, and the business moves he makes.
Cole respects Jay’s decision to invest in business ventures outside of hip-hop.
“In terms of business, I feel like that’s Jay,” Cole said referring to who he looks to for inspiration. “Jay handled his business in the best way a rapper can handle his business. So I try to model myself and my moves after those he’s made. I’m not necessarily following it exactly, but just knowing that you got to invest your money and think outside of the rap box. That’s major.” (All Hip Hop)
Last March, Cole said Jay also influenced his approach to stage presence during shows.
“As the tour went on, I got way more comfortable, I learned a lot about doing shows and why Jay-Z is able to do shows,” Cole toldradio personality DJ Whoo Kid. “I learned pretty much from him that confidence is everything. If you feel like you deserve to be up there, which of course he does, he feels like that, it shows and all the minor stuff you used to worry about like what kind of hand movements am I supposed to do, all that goes out the window when you got the confidence like ‘Yo, I deserve to be up there, people came to see me.’ So it’s really treating it like that. I used to worry about performing like, ‘Ah man, I’m trying to please every side of the crowd,’ like make sure they gettin’ love, they gettin’ love, Jay just plays wherever he wants. If he wants to play the center for the whole verse, he’ll do that. And all that comes from confidence, when you feel you deserve to be up there.” (Shade 45)
Prior to getting a guest feature on Jay’s Blueprint III song “A Star Is Born,” Cole went after the rap mogul as an unsigned artist shortly after college.
“Junior year. I thought to myself, OK, sh*t, what am I doing?,” Cole said in an interview last year. “That’s when I realized that I had to get my networking up. I tried everything, dog. I mean Myspace messages, making up shirts with slogans like, ‘Produce for Jay-Z or Die Trying.’ Standing outside of studios waiting. I was trying to get internships at studios! All of that led to me getting connected with one my business partners, Mike Rooney. Fast forward a year and a half after I graduate, I wind up meeting Jay-Z.” (Complex)
Despite being under the mogul’s watch, Cole addressed being compared to Jay’s close friend and former labelmate Memphis Bleek.
“People always ask me, ‘Yo man, how do you feel about the Memphis Bleek comparison,'” Cole said in an interview. “Like, Memphis Bleek is somebody totally different than me. He has a different story, different relationship with Jay, he came in at a different time. Like, why are you insinuating that Memphis Bleek isn’t happy with where he’s at? Maybe he’s comfortable and content with that. Me? I know where I want to go and I know what I want to be. I knew from an early point and that’s where I’m trying to go. Like, I have nothing to do with who Jay signed before. It’s all about what I bring to the table.” (VIBE)
In addition to partial ownership of basketball franchise the New Jersey Nets, Jay-Z also has business ties with Roc Nation, Rocawear, Hewlett-Packard, Budweiser and more.
Check out J. Cole speaking on Jay-Z down below: