recently caught up with budding Roc Nation star J. Cole to discuss his highly anticipated debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story. During the interview, Cole spoke on some of his contemporary artists’ tendencies to split their time rapping and singing. According to Cole, he’s all for the likes of Drake and Chris Brown balancing their rapping and singing skills. He added that he feels like some artists who rap on the side simply do it for fun.

“I think it’s dope [that some rappers sing and some singers rap]. Why not?,” he said. “Who says Drake can’t sing if he wants to sing? Who said Chris Brown can’t rap if he wants to rap? It’s just adding another facet to your style. It’s just evolution man. The sad truth is, is some of our legends from the past came out now, people would think they were boring. You’ve just got to find a balance.”

He added, “I don’t even think they take themselves seriously – they just want to come on. If I could sing, I would sing just like Chris Brown. Someone like Trey Songz, I feel like he genuinely loves rapping and that’s fine. Some singers may not be your favorite rapper, but maybe they don’t give a fuck and their rapping helps them express something they can’t by singing.”

Cole also spoke about Internet commenters both celebrating and critiquing his career goals and musical decisions. He said that he usually doesn’t pay attention to too many outsiders’ comments on his work. At the same time, however, he says that he finds himself engaging in the same kind of commentary of others, and that it’s strange to find himself on both sides of the industry.

“I take things for what they are. If someone is saying something and they sound dumb as shit, then they’re opinion is not valid,” he said. “But if you sound like you’re making some sense… a lot of times it’s people assuming, acting like they know what’s going on. So you have to understand that these people’s opinions are misguided. There’s so many critics, but they don’t actually participate in the creation or consumption of music. It’s easy to look from the outside. It’s natural, I talk about other artists too… who’s better, who’s fucking up… but you really don’t know. I just happen to have a foot on both sides. But when I can tell it’s coming from a genuine place of concern it’s both flattering and annoying…it’s flattering because it’s like ‘Yeah, thank you. I want to see me win too,’ but annoying when you think about how people don’t really know what’s going on. “

The full three-part interview with J. Cole can be found here.

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