Rap mogul Jay-Z recently gave his reaction to Roc Nation protege J. Cole earning a Grammy nomination and said the North Carolina-bred emcee is a top pick for “Best New Artist.”
Having watched Cole grow to stardom under his watch, Young Hov feels the rapper deserves a “Best New Artist” win at the February ceremony.
“I think it’s great for him, because I’m sure it’s a dream of his. We grew up seeing Michael Jackson, and I’m sure he grew up seeing whatever moment stuck in his mind, so I know it’s great for him to do that,” Hov told MTV News following a press conference announcing a pair of charitable shows at Carnegie Hall in New York. “I think he’s already won Best New Artist, to me. His journey is what I’m really excited about.” (MTV)
Earlier this fall, the rapper’s long-awaited Roc Nation album debuted atop its competition.
Leading the pack this week is J. Cole’s Cole World: The Sideline Story debuting at No. 1. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the North Carolina rap newcomer’s long-awaited debut album has sold 217,300 copies after seven days in stores. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
In September, Cole expressed his gratitude for Jay appearing on the LP.
“I knew Jay was gonna be on [that song]. I knew he was going to do that. I knew as soon as we made it [like] ‘Watch Jay get on this,'” Cole said in an interview referring to ‘Mr. Nice Watch.’ “Everything worked out, I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason. Like, when he did that, it made way more sense than my song. It’s a bigger record, a more universal record — Being the hip-hop nerd that I am, I would have loved to hear Jay-Z on that [‘God’s Gift’] beat. But really, I’m fine on that song alone.” (VIBE)
While Cole waited over two years to get his album out, Jay recently defended his decision for not rushing Roc Nation artists’ projects.
“J. Cole is pretty close, he’s coming out in September,” Jay told Angie Martinez on August 1st. “He’s got a great album. Jay Electronica is working on a great album as well. He’s pretty close. Bridget Kelly just released — her debut song, ‘Thinking About Forever’ — For me, if you’re gonna come sign to Roc Nation, just realize it’s going to take a second. I’m into artists. I’m not really into putting a single out. It takes a minute to build artists. It’s just true. You can’t come off the street and make a classic. Rarely does that happen. Lauryn Hill was in the business for 700 years before she put out the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She had to go through some things. You have to go through some things.” (Hot 97)
The 54th Grammy Awards will be televised Sunday, February 12th from Los Angeles.
Check out a recent J. Cole interview below: