j cole interview with the examiner

: How does it feel to be performing at Lollapalooza?

J. Cole: Ah man, it’s an honor and a blessing. I’m excited to see what’s about to happen.

SS: Are you excited to see a certain act this weekend?

J. Cole: I can’t really stay that long but if I could I’d love to see Lady Gaga, Erykah Badu, and The Black Keys. There are a lot of acts I’d like to see.

SS: Explain what your new single Who Dat is about.

J. Cole: Man that’s just a rap record–straight hard beats and hard raps! It’s a rap record at its finest. It’s just me flexing lyrical abilities. It’s not your typical first single but I’m not your typical rapper. It made a statement like, “A’ight, I’ll come out with this and see how y’all respond.”

SS: There was some controversy surrounding the Who Dat video. How would you address the critics that said you portrayed Fayetteville in a negative light?

J. Cole: Those people really don’t get it if they’re saying that. It’s really just a kid who wants to come home and show love to the city that he was raised in. It’s nothing more than that–that’s it.

SS: When can we expect to hear the album?

J. Cole: We got a date but I’m not saying the date no more because I feel like it’s going to change. I know how this thing works and I’ve seen it happen too many times. When a lot of people want my album it’s going to come out. If I put my album out now I can do 15,000-20,000 in sales but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to be under the radar. I want to touch as many people as absolutely possible.

SS: Do you have a title for the album?

J. Cole: I do but I haven’t put it out yet.

SS: Who are some of the producers on the album?

J. Cole: Right now the producers are myself and No I.D. and that’s it. Maybe that’s subject to change but right now it’s just us. There are no features right now but that’s going to change–I’m going to get like one or two. It will not be a feature dominated album at all.

SS: You make beats?

J. Cole: Yeah I make beats.

SS: What equipment do you use?

J. Cole: I started out on the ASR X Pro and I changed over to Reason about five years after that. I started using Logic recently.

SS: Phonte from Little Brother said that it bothered him that people used to tell him, “Oh, you can rap for somebody from the South.” Do you get a lot of that and how do you respond to it?

J. Cole: I do. They say it in different ways. They don’t say it like that but they’ll say another thing and you basically know what they’re trying to say. I don’t respond to it no kind of way man. All I can do is do my part to change to change that stereotype. All it is is a stereotype–it’s not true.

SS: What’s the best advice Jay-Z ever gave you?

J. Cole: I can’t tell you the best but he gives me a lot of advice. And I can tell you its really good advice. Whenever I get asked that question I can never remember one particular thing. He gives me a lot of great advice.

SS: A lot of people feel like you’re the next great MC, I feel that way, do you feel pressure to live up to that?

J. Cole: Thank you. Nah man, I feel anxious to live up to that. I’m ready to live up to that. It’s just a matter of finishing up this album. I’m just ready for it to be heard. I want to finish it. It’s hard when you’re trying to promote singles and finish the album at the same time. I don’t feel the pressure, I feel the excitement like, “Yo, I’m trying to come out and show it!”

SS: What’s your ultimate goal in the music industry?

J. Cole: Man, just to be around for 15 or 20 years and still be great, give people music they want to hear, and have my spot on everybody’s list. Everybody got their greatest list or top 5 list–I want to be on everybody’s list.