Between scoring a Grammy nod and having his debut LP Cole World: The Sideline Story go gold, it’s been a big year for J. Cole. Now, the Roc Nation rapper’s boss Jay-Z recently spoke to MTV about his thoughts on Cole’s recent Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Hov explained that he’s ecstatic that Cole received a Grammy nomination this early in his career. He said that even if Cole doesn’t bring home the award, he’s already won it in his mind for his accomplishments with his debut album. Jay even added that his “Mr. Nice Watch” partner’s determination and growth as an artist is worthy of respect within the world of Hip Hop.

“I think it’s great for him, because I’m sure it’s a dream of his,” he said. “We grew up seeing Michael Jackson, and I’m sure he grew up seeing whatever moment stuck in his mind, so I know it’s great for him to do that. I think he’s already won Best New Artist, to me. His journey is what I’m really excited about…whether he was nominated or not, he was the best new artist to me; sold 200-and-something-thousand records in his first week; he was the best new artist. I’m sure it’s great for him.”

He added, “The person he is today is not who he was when he first walked in. He got a chance to really go out, see what worked, see what people connect to, figure out how he was gonna tell his story…that artist-development thing, I think we need more of it. We need to ensure that this thing is around for future generations. This thing that fed our kids and our family and took us to these heights needs to be held intact by the people who are doing it.”

Check out the full interview below.

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