Roc Nation’s J. Cole has revealed his top five favorite rappers of all time, ranging from late lyricist Tupac Shakur to more modern emcees like OutKast’s Andre 3000.
Also within his Top 5 is Cole’s Roc Nation boss and music mogul, Jay-Z.
“Dead or alive, you gotta start with, obviously 2Pac’s my favorite rapper of all time,” Cole said in an interview with radio host Nessa Nitty. “And then we go to Nas. No particular order after that. Nas. Jay. Eminen. And let’s say, I’m going to say Andre 3000, right. Just because, you know, [he’s a] super duper storyteller, [and has] creative flows.” (WiLD 949)
Although he did not list him, Cole previously credited rapper Canibus for inspiring his music.
“I don’t know if I’m on his radar yet, but I used to hang Eminem raps on my wall,” Cole revealed in a May 2010 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…I think Em’s [written] raps be looking weird too…[A year from now], I’ll be a little richer, but I’ll still be the same. Yeah…I’m trying to stay the same or at least as close as possible. What did 50 [Cent] say? If you don’t change then you ain’t make enough? Or some crazy wild sh*t.” (Radio Planet TV)
Earlier this year, producer Swizz Beatz named his Top 5 rappers in hip-hop.
Swizz Beatz may be holed up in the studio recording his album Haute Living, but he’s still got his ears open to what’s going on in hip-hop. The hitmaker, who just dropped his Eve-assisted single “Everyday (Coolin’),” recently revealed to DJ Absolut his five favorite rappers and rookies in the game right now, giving props to some familiar faces and letting some newbies shine, including one MC who popped up twice. Find out who made Swizzy’s Haute lists. Top 5 Rappers Rick Ross Kanye West Drake Wiz Khalifa Jadakiss. (Rap-Up)
With his Roc Nation debut dropping tomorrow, Little Brother’s Big Pooh previously talked to SOHH about seeing a fellow North Carolina artist shine.
“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: