J. Cole Recalls Touring With Wale Early In His Career

J. Cole also explains what spurred him to rap in the first place.

J. Cole has released two No. 1, gold-certified albums in Cole World: The Sideline Story and Born Sinner, but Roc Nation's flagship artist still remembers the beginnings of his love for rapping.

“I wrote a rap when Pac died," said Cole in a recent interview with Hardknock TV. "I was in 6th grade…I felt compelled to write a rap..That’s like the first official rap I ever wrote. I feel like I was talking about him. Almost like I had to carry the torch or something…in my six grade mind. Then I took a break for like a year. Not even a break, I just never... rapped again for a year. I think what it was that made me want to rap is that when I actually tried it, I was good, and it was such an ill feeling to get that response an affect people like that, to make people go 'oh!'"

Cole recalled the very day he decided he'd fully commit to being a Hip Hop artist. "When I decided I wanted to rap, I remember it was a big day," he said. "It was a Saturday. I took the whole day and meticulously ripped down all my basketball posters, and cut out all the pictures of the Rap magazines that I had: Source, Blaze, XXL, cut out the covers, pictures, and hung 'em up. And what I had on top of that, right next to my bed, literally, if I wake up and turn to the right, the wall that was right next to my bed was the lyrics. I had pages and pages and pages of lyrics. And to make my wall, you had to be amazin'. You had to be Nas, Eminem, Canibus. You had to be... Royce [Da 5'9] would get a verse, Pac. I used to sit, wake up, and even if I'm just in my room, chillin', read the verses. I already knew 'em word for word, but reading the words was special. Like readin' 'em out. I don't know why I did it, but I felt compelled."

Cole fast-forwarded to when his Rap career took off, shortly after Jay Z signed him to his burgeoning Roc Nation music label. "When I was sitting at dinner, [they said] 'Oh, we want to link you with Wale'... for sure," said Cole. "I go meet Wale, I do 'Beautiful Bliss'... and then Wale showed up after that, and he allowed me to just open up for him on these shows, because 'Chillin'' had just dropped, they were about to promo him... So, like, anything on the East Coast we would go to. But we not like on a bus. I'd just gotten a deal, but we ain't got no real money... We either take my car and drive up to Syracuse, or hop in my other homeboy car, and drive down to Virginia."

Watch the interview below:

Prior to 2013's Born Sinner, J. Cole released the Truly Yours mixtape in February.

RELATED: J. Cole - "Crooked Smile" (Live On David Letterman)


  • Spite

    ^ Awww, upset you needed a dictionary.

  • Demetri

    I was listening to Born Sinner earlier today. I'm a big Cole fan. I think Born Sinner was his introduction to becoming an elite producer (my scale: Bad, Good, Great, Elite). My only knock was I felt it was one too many girl songs. The concept was cool, especially for songs like "Rich Niggaz", "Chaining Day", "LAnd of Snakes", "Let Nas Down". That's the only thing I felt needed improvement. I understand radio singles and some concert songs are needed. But it's getting to the point where people may need to stop bloviating about Drake's soliloquies of women. Because Cole can be a close second at times in that subject. Big fan though.

  • mack.

    some niggas got good opinions(like some themes are recycled), but others just hating on cole heavy. Hes trying give you something real and you just hating. that "hes boring" shit is hilarious. and to all you soo called 90's people, nas stamped him... case closed nigga. BTW I also think Kendrick is better, but without a doubt its not by far. fuck all that shit though, the fact of the matter is they both real.

  • Holdthese

    Idk why so many niggas hate on j.cole...if kendrick wasnt around n drake wasnt a consistent hitmaker none of yall would be sayin "hes boring" or makin comparisons...cuz even now J.cole fits right in with those 2 dudes lyrically idgaf what nobody says...listen to "Looking for trouble" thats J.Cole's version of control before kendrick even thought about doin a verse like that...

  • Anthony

    niggas really hate j.cole smh all this man spit is the truth..

  • REL

    THIS NIGGA BASICALLY JUST CALLED HIMSELF PAC. IF there is any example that rappers get lazy when they get money, it's J.Cole. His albums and mixtapes are like two different people

  • jurufromroundthaway

    J.cole is over rated as a lyricists, I listened to both his albums and im not impressed at all alot of his punchlines are corny and his flow gets repetitive. I guess given 2013 rap standards hes a top tier rapper (with Kendrick and Drake), but ill stick to my 90s music.

    • jurufromaroundtheway

      I already heard FNL and warm up is probably his best overall project, but my opinion still remains Cole is just descent to me. Nothing about his music overall or his verses blows me away, I dont get this "deep emotional connection" thing going when I listen to Cole I hear alot of recycled bars about how he fucks college girls that are in relationships and sub par punchlines. Compared to mainstream rappers out now yeah hes in a league of his own but I would put Kendrick above Cole, GKMC impressed me, im not one to jump out the window and call it a classic but Sideline Story was boring. Born Sinner was better but like I said something about Cole is flat out boring to me. We all know what happened when Nas jumped on that Let Nas down remix the gap between 90s rappers and the artist yall consider top tier lyricist today was mad obvious.

    • @so so dumb

      Ur name describes u perfectly lol. Dont ever mention that wack overrated, over hyped fag Cole in the same sentence as Pac, he has nothing in common with Pac. Im finna make an "emotional CONNECTION" with ya Moms, lol. Smh, you fuckin idiot.

    • CJ

      I agree. J.Cole is below Kendrick in every category

    • the dude above me is an idiot

      Kendrick hasn't spoke to people's current life situations? Kendrick showed people what it's like to be a young teen in the streets of compton. Cole recycles the same shit over and over, and people just can't realize it. Kendrick is better than Cole lyrically and conceptually, case closed.

    • so so dumb

      A great lyricist isn't just about having dope lyrics. It's about MOVING your audience. Making dudes nod their heads. Making ladies dance. Having quotable verses that trigger a sincere EMOTIONAL response. It's about being able to speak into people's current LIFE situations. Dudes like Kendrick and Biggie may be better lyrically, but there's a reason both Cole and Pac have had a greater emotional CONNECTION to their audience. Go ahead and bump your '90s music, BUT if you were honest, you'd admit that there were just as much (if not more) lyrical recycling--especially when it came to subject matter.

    • wow u dumb

      im a top 90's fan and i know from a fact that u on some top level bullshit, COLE along with Kendrick are the new faces of lyrical hip hop they carrying the torch . Go listen to FNL AND warm up and i know foe sure u will change ur idea

  • Sean

    wale is jus anoter nigerian scam artist, fuck that nigg@

  • Patricia Astudillo

    until I looked at the check four $4800, I have faith that...my... friend woz like actually erning money parttime at their computer.. there friend brother started doing this for only 8 months and resently paid for the debts on their cottage and got a great Lotus Esprit. visit the website WWW.FB39.COM He obviously dissed the system where white men in suits from Hollywood try to adapt the music so that it would appeal to the masses and would fuck up their mentaility. What the fuck were you thinking? He hates Hollywood cause they make movies over there? Moron.

  • Anonymous

    i wonder if Wale was a sensitive clown back then like he is now

  • Fuck Washington, D.C.

    J. Cole Recalls Touring With The Local Rapper Who's Not Drake For Sure

  • Anonymous

    *YAWN* who cares Slow day DX? Fucking useless faggots

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