On one hand, the North Carolina lyricist has the rare opportunity to get one of the most coveted features in the game on his first major-label effort. But on the other hand, the rising producer/MC is now tasked with churning out a record worthy of a Hov verse — a challenge he has admitted is daunting.
When Cole stopped by MTV News’ Times Square headquarters on Thursday to chop it up on "RapFix Live," the Fayetteville rapper opened up about his plans for collaborating with his Roc Nation boss.
"They been asking me this for a while because I said he was like one of the only rap features I wanted, but it’s about the song. It’s a lot of pressure on that song. I feel like that’s my hardest song to make, is the one I want Jay for. My standards are so high," he explained.
The MC added that he initially thought a melodic cut that eventually landed on his most recent mixtape would be good for a Jay feature. " ‘Enchanted’ off of [his mixtape] Friday Night Lights was just like a lot of people’s favorites, and my man Omen is on there. I wanted to get Jay on it. I thought that was gonna be the Jay-Z song for the album. But as time went by, it was like, ‘Nah, I got something better,’ " he said.
In fact, the songsmith has already cooked up another burner for Hov. "So I got this other song for the album right now. As soon as I did it, I named the beat ‘J. Cole and Jay-Z.’ But I ended up doing three verses, and I was like, ‘Nah, I like my verse.’ My bar is high for that song," he said.
While Cole is making sure he’s offering Jay his finest work, it’s not like there’s a one-Hov-feature rule he has to abide by. The Fayette-nam lyricist added that he and Hov plan to work together organically.
"As long as it feels right for him. I wouldn’t even wanna force nothin’ to him. It’s not like a ‘You better make it good’ [situation]," he said. "Nah, it’s not like that."
What do you think Hov and Cole’s collabo will sound like? Let us know in the comments!