Former Roc-A-Fella artist Memphis Bleek has kicked some advice to Ron Nation’s J. Cole as he prepares to drop his upcoming debut album.
From Bleek’s perspective, Cole should watch the people he keeps in his camp.
“I would tell him that everybody can’t just say, ‘Yo, I want to be my own boss.’ You have to learn the business, but more importantly you have to have the right team around you,” Bleek suggested in an interview. “That’s where it starts first. Before you even meet a manager or a producer or a label you have to start with your homies. Because it won’t work if you have a bunch of foul people around you who just want to see negativity. J. Cole has to go all the way in. He shouldn’t listen to someone telling him how to make his music. He should follow his heart. He’s new… he’s not from the NYC, he’s from Fayetteville, North Carolina, so he’s bringing a whole new movement with him. J. Cole has a lot on his shoulders. He can never second-guess what he’s doing.” (VIBE)
Little Brother‘s Big Pooh recently talked with SOHH about seeing the 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)
Cole got his mainstream shot by meeting Jay-Z and later signing to Roc Nation.
“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)
Cole recently talked about gaining confidence since touring alongside Hov.
“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 told radio 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)
Check out J. Cole speaking on Jay-Z & Memphis Bleek below: