J. Cole teamed up with BIA on Friday (April 8) to drop a new single called “London.” Following its release, the North Carolina rapper posted a clip of the music video on Instagram and revealed he was “blown away” the first time he heard the song, which was actually a while before he added his own verse.
“I damn near didn’t even wanna put this clip up cuz I need everybody to hear this shit PURE. How I heard it!” he began. “I Asked BIA to come through the studio for some whole other shit. First time meeting her. We chop it up. She plays me this new song she had just did. Mannnnnnn. in that moment I was blown away.
“I thought about this song for a month straight, it was my favorite song and I only heard it one time. She hit me recently and sent me the song (she musta knew I wanted to hear it again!!!) and I was just grateful to have it in my possession.”
Cole may be 15 years into his career with a ton of experience as a guest artist, but the quality of the original song made him nervous about putting a verse on it.
“When the thought and conversation came up about me adding a verse, I was excited but genuinely nervous cuz I didn’t even see how the song could be better after what she did to it,” he explained. “I didn’t want to fuck nothing up! I’m grateful I Ended up catching the right wave.”
He added, “Thank you @bia for having me on this record with you, love this shit and love your energy and spirit. Bia ft cole – ‘London’ out now. Peace.”
BIA’s latest single is produced by AzizTheShake, Jon Glass and Tim. Staying true to the London theme of the song, J. Cole frequently adopts a British accent and incorporates various UK references and slang throughout his guest verse.
“Balenciaga for joggers, I might just wear Crocs at the O2 Arena,” he raps. “Splendid, got no limits, should have a tank on my pendant/Blokes goin’ broke tryna keep up with Cole but I make it back soon as I spend it/Maybach tinted, ‘Excuse me sir, but ain’t that rented?’/I’m offended, straight cash for my Benzes, we don’t pay back interest.”
Directed by Daps, the music video was shot in various locations across London such as Shoreditch and the River Thames. UK drill rapper Unknown T also stars throughout the visual — watch it below.