For his final video segment with Muve Music Sessions, North Carolina rapper J. Cole spoke on a handful of his Cole World: The Sideline Story tracks including “Cole World,” “Sideline Story,” and “Lights Please.”
On top of stating that “Lights Please” is what he refers to as a “J. Cole classic,” J. Cole also revealed that he had plans on featuring the song on his debut album way before it was even released.
“’Lights Please’ is a J. Cole classic. Meaning that all my fans or true fans that’s really been there for a minute are gonna recognize that song because it was on a mixtape I got called The Warm Up,” J. Cole explained. “I did a show in 2009 in the summertime…and I said it onstage as I was performing the song in front of most of these people [who] didn’t really know me they might have heard [of me]. I was like, ‘Yea I’m about to do this song. I wanna do something for ya’ll it’s called ‘Lights Please.’ Even if I drop my album in 2012 this gonna be on the album.’ I said that not really knowing that my album would really almost drop in 2012. I said it just as a joke, but I was serious. That’s how much I love that song. That’s the song that got me so many meetings in the industry. It got me my meeting with Mark Pitts. Mark Pitts played it for Jay-Z. Jay-Z heard that song and that’s the reason why he even wanted to see me was from hearing ‘Lights Please.’”
While “Sideline Story” may not have gotten J. Cole a meeting with Jay-Z, the song did feature a beat the rapper had been sitting on for almost two years.
“’Sideline Story’ I been sitting on that beat for a year and a half trying to put words to it because I thought that the music was so incredible that was going to be the intro,” said J. Cole. “That originally was gonna be the intro to the album. The music was that good that I was sitting on that for a year like this is the intro. When I would play my album for people I would just play them that beat and say that this is the intro, with no words…And I think the reason why I couldn’t write to it was because I had the pressure of this is the intro on it. Soon as I recorded ‘Dollar And A Dream III’ and decided that ‘Nah, this is the intro’ all the weight and the pressure kinda got off the ‘Sideline Story’ beat. And then it allowed me to kinda put the pieces together on that.”