With the release of Born Sinner coming up this year, J. Cole has enlisted the help of Kendrick Lamar, who participated in an interview featured on Cole’s site. This K. Dot interview is the second installment of a series produced by Cole. Designed to build anticipation for Born Sinner, Lamar opened up about connecting with Gangsta Rap and having respect for Cole’s work.

“Me listening to Gangsta Rap coming up was vivid stories of a lifestyle I was seeing every time I went outside,” Lamar explained in the interview. “So, me as a kid, I looked at it as these people is basically writing in journals. I caught that early on. Tupac would be talking about these real deep concepts of a teenage boy being lost. I couldn’t really understand it. I wasn’t a teenager yet. I was still doing back-flips off the rooftop thinking everything is fun. But my older cousin who was 17 would be like, ‘Man, this nigga ‘Pac know exactly what I’m feelin’ right now. I’m a wild lil’ nigga. I can’t control myself.’ So that was a way to make that connection, through older influences.”

Kendrick also spoke about his respect for Cole, adding that J has “that gift.” 

“Everybody can rap but only a few get in these positions where they can really speak to a generation of people and have them follow it,” Dot added. “When I listen to people like Cole, it’s that gift. Entertaining can only go so far.”

More from the interview soundbites can be heard at J. Cole’s Born Sinner site, along with the first installment of these interviews, which featured J’s mother, Kay Cole

Lamar and Cole have built a strong bond over the years. Exactly a year ago today, it was confirmed that they were working on an album together. Earlier this year, Cole acknowledged that their work together was becoming “mad competitive.” The album is set to feature J. Cole as the primary producer on most of the songs. Cole’s solo album, Born Sinner, is set to be released in June

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