Posts tagged roc nation
For J. Cole, getting Jay-Z to guest on his debut album is a gift and a curse.
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!
Q: So are you excited about what you are about to make happen here in Chicago, Illinois?
A. Absolutely man, you know…I’m ecstatic!
Q. What can the crowd expect to see in your live show?
A. .A lot of vicious raps. A lot of confidence and stage presence. And you know-some really good hip hop music
Q. So where are you from?
A. Fayettesville, North Carolina.
Q. How did you get started in this whole rap game?
A. Well, I started rapping at 12 years old. Started making beats when I was 15 years old. And when I was 18yrs old I moved to New York trying to get a rap deal-and also went to St. Johns University.
Q. Where’d you get the courage to up and move from such a small town to the Big Apple?
A. Man, I have no clue where I got it from. Probably from my mother who fooled me into thinking I could do whatever I wanted to do. So I actually tried it out.
Q. What did you study at St. Johns?
A. Communications. I knew what I was there for(a rap deal) and I didn’t think I would have to finish school-I thought I was going to get signed before I even graduated.
Q. Who are some of your musical influences?
A. Tupac, Jay-Z, Nas…Eminem, Canibus, Andre 3000-Outkast and Kanye..you know-the greats.
Q. After you got to New York you got signed by Jay-Z’s label, how did that happen?
A. Yeh, Roc-Nation-this happened through Mark Pitts who was Biggie’s manager
(who also signed Chris Brown and Ciara). He played Jay-Z one of my songs called “Lights Please” and that’s how it all started.
Q. How did Mark Pitts find you?
A. Well, that’s a whole ‘nother story. That’s from years and years of me knocking on people’s doors and somehow my music wound up in his office.
Q. Now you know and Chris Brown look alike (you could be cousins)?
A. Ha, ha…that’s my homeboy too. But yeh-I know, it’s that tall light skin thing.
Q. I like the fact that you graduated from St. Johns and got your papers. How do you feel about that?
A. I’m honored. I feel good to have my degree-you know what I’m saying. Nobody can take that away from you. It’s nothing but a good thing.
Q. How do you define the music you are producing-what’s happening?
A. There’s definitely a message. It’s both entertainment and a message. I try to blend both of them together. A strong message of us as individuals along with the entertainment of rap-that’s what I do.