Mobb Deep‘s Havoc has vouched for rap newcomer J. Cole and spoke on his interest to step behind the boards to produce his upcoming debut album.
From Hav’s perspective, Cole is one of the hottest emcees in hip-hop right now.
“He’s on everybody’s short-list! I hate to be soundin’ like I’m on some kind of band-wagon, but I really feel that in my heart, that dude is dope! There’s a lot of other dope emcees out there, I hate to name just one. It seems like I’m just forgetting the rest, but he’s definitely on my radar. Even if I get a track on his album or not, I’m behind him 100% no matter what he do. I wish him well, and I know he’s going to do well, ’cause he seems like a real-for-real artist. He’s in it for the art.” (Hip Hop DX)
Rap veteran Nas has also paid homage to the newcomer.
“We love them, all of them,” Nas said referring to rap newcomers. “Jay Electronica, J. Cole, Drake, Nicki Minaj, everybody. We love them. They’re extended family right there. I think J. Cole is fire. I think Drake is fire too. Those are the next ones up, we just have to see have to see what they do, get to the plate and hold that bat up and knock it out the park.” (Rap-Up)
Drake recently pointed out Cole’s Nas characteristics.
“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)
However, Cole later turned down the Nas compliment.
“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)
Check out Nas speaking on J. Cole below: