[:: J. COLE THREAD | REVENGE OF THE DREAMERS 2 EP ::] - Page 183
J. COLE: It really has nothing to do with money. There's a financial benefit of course, but that's not what I think about at all. It comes from doing all of this since I was 15. I couldn't get beats from anyone else so I had to make them myself. And I've always been a very controlling person, like I write my own destiny type *#!@, so that's how it started. But then I got smart about it and realized 'Oh *#!@, I have a sound.' And the benefit of it is is that my destiny is in my own hands. My fans love me for me, my beats, my rhymes. Of course I will step out like the Bryan Kidd record ['Can't Get Enough'] and I'll always work with other producers, but as long as I stay true to my specific sound, my fans won't leave. I could lose my deal tomorrow and I would still have my fans. I could do this theortically forever because I have a sound.
Originally I couldn't ever for see that song, I could only pray for that type of song. When I started making this album I didn't have the ability to make that record. It took a good year to even learn what it took to make that songâgoing on the road with Jay and watching him do 'Big Pimpin'... I wanted that. I remember going into the studio with No I.D. and telling him 'Yo, I need a 'Big Pimpin'' because the energy is so crazy when Jay performs that song.' But I didn't have the right tools yet as a rapper.
Was it difficult to approach the beat with the right flow?
Nah, I could've rode the beat the same way. But it's a combination of things, it's riding the beat, it's lyrical ability and it's the picture you paint and the persona you put out. I had all of those things, but it wasn't cohesive yet. It took a while to basically put everything together. The thing about being an artist today is you get to develop right in front of people's eyes before you even put out an album. So I grew into that. I made that song last year in October. I've just been sitting on it, waiting. It was actually meant to be the third single. It was a blessing that it leaked because it reminded the label and management of what we had been already saying since October.
They were iffy at first?
But everything happens for a reason. At first we had some issues with the hook.
The original was different?
I rapped that hook first, then I asked Trey to get on it and he sang the hook. I wasn't necessarily in love with the way he sung it first, but only because I was married to the old version. But I realized quickly, shhh this is fucing crazy.
True. Leading up to your debut, it seems like everyone has an opinion on where your career should be going. Do you ever pay attention to the Internets comments for advice on next moves?
Nah, nah. I take things for what they are. If someone is saying something and they sound dumb as *#!@, then they're opinion is not valid. 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 $*%*#*# 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.
Like an unneeded urgency?
Yes! Like you're now creating a problem.
From what I can tell from a lot of your lyrics, you're not the biggest fan of Twitter. Or am I wrong?Let me preface this by saying, I do follow my timeline. I'm not glued to the *#!@, but I'm not one of those people that's like 'Ah, fuc Twitter.' But t's a gift and a curse. A gift because we can learn so much instantly, the negative is I feel like Twitter breeds negativity more than positive. Someone can have a negative comment for the sake of being negative, shoot it to their followers and now other people's opinions are tainted before they even witness anything for themselves.
True. Definitely saw that with some tracks from 'Watch The Throne.' What are your thoughts on it?
I thought it was great. I like 'New Day' a lot.
Does it feel different listening to a Jay-Z and Kanye West album now versus when you were unsigned?
It definitely feels different. Now it feels more competitive, before I felt like it was so out of reach. But now it's like 'They want to drop this shh a month and half before my shh comes out? Damn. Let me take my shh up. Let me add to mine.' So the competitiveness kicks in now because I'm in the game. I may be very low, but my sights are high. So it's very different. Even when Kanye's album dropped last year I was still on some fan shh. But now I finally feel like I'm in the game.
That must be a dopeass state of mind. But I know it's been a rough road. What's the biggest stress you had to overcome?
The most stressful part was the wait. Knowing what I'm sitting on, making crazy new songs, but then not knowing when your release date is. That was frustrating. But I learned my patience is immense. I work best under pressure anyways, so it was good for me to have that tested. We'll see how it's received though.
ESPN enlisted the help of notable musicians to provide their distinctive interpretations of the "Baseball Tonight" theme song during the 2011 season. We've already featured these versions of the song on air and in the ESPN Music section, but now we want you to help us crown the best version of them all.
For 11 weeks, we'll have two artists square off in a poll for you to vote on. The winner will then face the next artist on the schedule and so on until the final week, when we'll see who is the last one standing (full schedule at the bottom). Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker scored his second comeback victory in a row by knocking off Seether in Week 4 to earn the right to take on J. Cole this week. So vote in the poll at the right of this page now through Sept. 1.
Vote for J. Cole, he's going up against Travis Barker