Roc Nation’s J. Cole recently credited rap veterans Eminem and Canibus with inspiring his early rhymes.
Cole claimed he studied both emcees’ verses when he was younger.
“I don’t know if I’m on his radar yet, but I used to hang Eminem raps on my wall,” Cole revealed in an 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)
Last March, Cole said he was also influenced by Nas and late rapper Tupac Shakur.
“The more lyrical rappers. I gravitate toward the classic and more lyrical rappers,” he explaind in an interview. “Sometimes when I’m in the studio we spend an hour on YouTube watching old rap and freestyle. For a while there it was really lyrical and witty and was always personalized. I’m drawn toward storytellers like Nas and Tupac. I’m realizing my own work in this day is generally not something that is out there. There is a lot of talent, but they just aren’t putting out what I am. The whole game is exciting but nobody in a long time has come out with the skills for lyrical writing that I am coming out with.” (Spinner)
Recently, Nas co-signed Cole as one of the artists falling under his radar.
“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)
Little Brother‘s Big Pooh recently talked with 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: