J. Cole Speaks On His Production Abilities, "The Warm Up"

Exclusive: The Roc Nation emcee/producer says he'd like to produce for Nas, Wale and Beyonce, and compares his two acclaimed mixtapes.

After Roc Nation’s artist J. Cole performed an array of songs off of his mixtapes The Come Up and The Warm Up at the University of Maryland last week, he sat down with HipHopDX to discuss his opinion of his own two mixtapes, as well as the differences between the two. “I don’t think either one of them I like better. I mean certain days, I’m feelin’ a certain way and I’d probably pick one over the other. But I think The Come Up was way more raw; it’s raw just straight rappin'. I am just trying to prove I can really rap with anybody, I can hang with anybody. I was trying to keep up with the [Lil] Wayne’s and all that at that time. And then The Warm Up was more so me trying to show that I can put together an album and a body of work, something with songs, and a concept, and it flows, and a sequence that tells a story. So that’s more like what The Warm Up was about.  I think my style was more represented with The Warm Up. That’s my style now.”

Cole's style heard on The Warm Up seems to be effective, as quite a few songs have been huge successes with his fan base. “Lights Please” and “Get Up” are two such songs, and are also favorites of the North Carolina rapper. “Those are some of my favorites too. I think people like when you talk about something these days. It’s more than just the generic flashy ‘I get a lot of girls, I’m fly.' I do those songs and those verses [too], and those are cool, but how many of those can you do? So I think it's refreshing for people to hear somebody actually hitting you with a concept, and talking about issues, and not in a corny way. Some rappers do it, but it’s corny like, ‘Man I don’t want to hear this nigga preaching to me on this song.'  But to me, I feel like it doesn’t come off preachy, I feel like it’s almost like we are having a conversation. I am almost like your friend, some days we talk about bullshit, and some days we actually talk about some real shit. I feel like that’s how you feel when you listen to my music. Whatever you want to discuss, I got a song for.”

The Warm Up also showed a different side of J. Cole, adding another title to his name: producer. “People don’t know that all the songs they love off of The Warm Up, I produced those. 'Lights Please' 'Grown Simba,' 'I Get Up,' 'Losing My Balance;' these songs were produced by me. I’m not a good self-promoter so I don’t go around saying, ‘Hey rapper-producer J. Cole.'   As soon as I’m done with the album, that’s my main priority; producing for other people, and finding an artist, and developing an artist, and producing a whole album, because I feel like that’s how you really get your sound.”

When asked what artists he would like to produce, J. Cole stated, “I would do a whole Nas album, I feel like I got one more classic waiting. I believe that somehow if he someone reads this, I got a classic waiting for him. I’d produce a Wale album. If I could really get my weight up, I would produce a Beyonce album. Not just because she’s Beyonce and she’s the biggest, just because I feel like she’s the best.”

Though J. Cole’s career is just beginning, he has big plans for himself in the next five years.  “I hope to have four or five classic albums. And just have more freedom to do what I want.  If I want to write a movie, I want to be able to write a movie, if I want to act, I want to be able to act. I want to have my production game on a whole other level. I want to be respected as a producer, really respected as a producer. So hopefully that will take off too.”

With his debut album currently in the works, fans have been anxious for the arrival of the album.  We asked J. Cole to tell us in one sentence, what we can expect from his album.  With a confident answer, he replied, “Something that lasts forever.”

Written and Reported by Amaiya Davis.

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32 Comments

  • TRAPorDIE2

    New School: J. Cole, Lupe, Jay Elect, Deep Jackson, Nipsey Hussle, Wiz K, is all I can manage to listen to right now!

  • sad

    there is a "web//site" named "sexyblackwhite" for dateing or relationship, black or white singles can go there to find something sexy or beauty online

  • fuck a nut suck a clit

    J Cole, dunno if you read this, but never heard one of your songs and had no desires to. dunno why i read this short as interview. but I clicked lights please....... witness a converted fan. that shit was ill

  • NAME (NOT REQUIRED)

    Anyone else notice that J. Cole has the best interview question responses? He ALWAYS knows exactly what to say. He's a smooth cat who will drop a sure classic in the coming months.

  • biggrease

    I fucks wit Cole, but why does it seem like Hov ain't really talking about him like that? I hear Jay-Z bigging up Jeezy more that J Cole. Hov ain't ready to pass the torch yet that's why.

  • MYLIE

    J Cole - leader of the new school

  • JBenny

    Cole's got that flame flow, killed it at Rutgersfest. Watch how he grows under Hov

  • ???

    first time i ever heard j. cole... sounds like a poor man's kanye (no disrespect, just my opinon)

    • wu head

      that would be drake umm everyone thought best I ever had was made by kanye west not drake. come on now be real, your favorite artist is a mr west wannabe. thats y kanye gave him "find my love"... a 8o8 n heartbreak reject that he sold drake and wrote the song. proof in the pudding

    • Tymoney

      J. Cole sounds like J. Cole.. how do he sound like anybody but his damn self hes just giving a interview and answering questions. And his music aint talkin bout fuckin bitches and how he in the trap all day.. just shit dat niggaz can relate to. And you cant tell me dat Kanye is da only nigga in da world spittin shit you can relate to.

    • nah

      ppl now a days say that anybody that talks bout regular shit sounds like kanye. cole doesnt sound like a poor man's kanye, he sounds more like a mix of nas and canibus and a BIT of kanye if u ask me

    • MXL

      Wow, that's an interesting opinion. Cole sounds nothing like 'Ye.

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  • MOSEY

    J.Cole! I just hope he goes in and maintains the hunger. Anything can happen, he can start as a nice MC then later resort to a collab with these bubble gum singers/rappers. It's probably happening to your favorite rapper as we speak.

  • lankaistai

    J Cole is a problem, i'm looking forward to his album

  • B.Dolla

    Man... my respect for an artist always goes up 10 fold whenever I find out they produce too. I knew J.Cole produced, but I didn't know he did Lights Please and all those other bangers. Those are some hot ass beats.

    • wu head

      hell yeah dreams ,lights please, grown simba, the list goes on and on. cole is here 2 stay, jay z dont sign just anybody..

  • dasdf

    there is a "web//site" named "sexyblackwhite" for dateing or relationship, black or white singles can go there to find something sexy or beauty online !!!!

  • Hussle's Way

    J.Cole is a problem!! The album gonna be fireeeee Warm Up stays on heavy rotation!!

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  • phraynkh

    best tape right now

  • UltraMagnetic79

    BIG UPS to J.Cole and the 910 and also my home of ME!! On some serious ish NC as a whole is known as a Down South state thanks for proving them WRONG!! Oh Yea yall might of heard of Little Brother 9th Wonder Home of the Hall of Justus Median Dj Flash, Supastiton. NC on the Map

  • the other come up

    i feel like this me doing a interview hes hungry

  • problemz327

    "I would produce a Beyonce album. Not just because she’s Beyonce and she’s the biggest, just because I feel like she’s the best." lmao...not because my boss who's hitting that signs my checks...lmao...J.Cole is a problem though..looking forward to that album...

  • HollaLeujah

    J cole is one of the few new up and coming artists I can take in, along with Jay Elec.

  • kideclipse

    j. cole IS the future....the album's gonna be fire

  • jesterdx

    nobody can hate on cole he tells it how it is... If I want to write a movie, I want to be able to write a movie, if I want to act, I want to be able to act. I want to have my production game on a whole other level. I want to be respected as a producer, really respected as a producer. So hopefully that will take off too.”

  • Bauce

    J cole the truth. Niggaz better recognize

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