New Jersey rap vet Redman is the latest artist to publicly acknowledge the talent of Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation protege, J. Cole, and recognizes the emcee’s 1990’s vibe.
Red believes Cole represents an element of hip-hop he strongly respects.
“J. Cole is hot. He’s different,” says Redman. “It seems like he got that hip-hop element, that essence in him, whereas as far the new cats they just talking about money and bitches. He still sounds like he got a touch of 90s in him, even though he’s a new cat. I like that. He got substance to his raps.” (VIBE)
Renowned producer Dr. Dre also recently mentioned that Cole remained within his radar.
“Just recently, actually, I’ve heard some really good artists. I’m a fan of J. Cole. I like Don Trip. Those two I was actually in this studio working with recently, and I really like their vibe. Especially J. Cole. I think that kid has a serious future ahead of him. He’s articulate. The way he speaks is – he’s got it. All he needs is the record now.” (XXL Magazine)
Rap pioneer DJ Premier believes artists like Drake and Cole are breathing new life into hip-hop.
“To those people who typed that [I shouldn't have co-signed them,] how many other 22 and 23-year-old that’s out right now that’s relevant, that’s got some lyrics that’s banging or any wordplay for that matter,” Premier said in an interview. “Send them to me or send me their MP3, if it’s banging like that, I’ma play it. I don’t really play Drake on my show, I got a radio show every Friday that breaks underground hip-hop, I don’t play Drake on my show — I like him and what can you say about him that you don’t like? His stage presence had to improve a little bit, he worked on that now. I went to his concert at Radio City. J. Cole is not wack, he’s got lyrics. How can you say that? And then they’re saying ‘How can you not say Joell Ortiz?’ Joell Ortiz has been out for a long time. Y’all are just getting up on it, you late motherf*cker. You’re a computer f*ck, I’m a computer f*ck too but you’re a computer f*ck-hole. Give them a corny name, f*ck-hole, that’s not a name I’d normally say — but put them in the corny box.” (All Hip Hop)
Rap veteran AZ also said he keeps up with Drizzy and Cole’s burgeoning careers.
“Listen, Drake is kicking it and his flow is what’s needed,” AZ said in an interview with Mikey T The Movie Star. “You got the Wiz Khalifa, you got the J. Cole, you got a couple of cats that are laying it down and they’re trying to keep [hip-hop] alive. You gotta give somebody a chance. You know what I’m saying? The old cats can’t do it forever. You know what I mean? Those [new artists] that are out, I appreciate it.” (Movie Star Status DVD)
Check out a recent J. Cole interview below: