Roc Nation’s J. Cole recently talked about being compared to rap veteran Nas and why he is not yet comfortable with accepting the comparison.
In addition to Nas, Cole also discussed being signed to Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation company.
“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)
Cole later said he felt Drake’s opinion was a bit too premature.
“Comparisons are natural,” Cole said in an interview. “But in this particular instance, and no disrespect to [Drake’s] opinion, because that’s how he feels, but I feel like it’s too early. You can’t call things like that, that early. You can’t say I’m Nas because, look, Nas was in the game for 16 years. What if I’m not here next year? What if you’re not here next year? I don’t think you can say stuff like that this early, but I understand what people are saying. At his status right now, he’s the most talked-about guy in the game. The Nas comparison is like, ‘He gets a little bit beyond the surface,’ but I feel like when it comes to those comparisons, it’s way to early. And you never know, 10 years from now, I could be Jay.” (MTV)
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: