Ever since J Cole has come out of hiding on April 20th with the release of his album KOD, he has been more active and involved, especially with the journalism side of hip hop. In the past month, his YouTube channel has released two lengthy interviews: one of him being interviewed by popular hip hop influencer, Angie Martinez and the other of him interviewing the one and only Lil Pump. J Cole has definitely appeared more conscious and meditative with his spirit representing that of a North Carolina monk. I am a supporter of his entrance as a calm master of hip hop, especially because of what he is trying to accomplish. Between these two interviews, we have seen that J Cole is making a true effort to identify and solve the issues of society, and specifically the rap scene, while also addressing his own ignorance and growth.
Angie Martinez had scheduled and recorded an interview with J Cole pretty spontaneously right before Rolling Loud in Miami, FL. This interview was uploaded on May 16th and took the Internet by surprise, especially because of the topics discussed throughout the hour and a half interview. They begin the discussion with talks of meditation and the wonders it can do for a person, a concept that was rapped about by Cole on the KOD track labeled “FRIENDS”. This led to the oh so popular analysis of Donald Trump/Kanye West, in which J Cole blames for mental illness and distorted goals. The most important and lengthy subject that was discussed was regarding Lil Pump and the whole wave of new school rappers, a controversy that J Cole has absolutely divided into in the past month. He explains to Angie that he was more confused than offended over the “Fuck J Cole” agenda that had been introduced by Lil Pump and was his inspiration for writing the track “1985”.
This confusion led him to pull up to the alleged castle of new wave rappers, No Jumper. For those unfamiliar, No Jumper is a very popular podcast hosted by Adam22, where he interviews the newest upcoming artists, usually in the same category as Lil Pump. After J Cole was greeted and almost worshiped at No Jumper, he came to the realization that his hate wasn’t actually hate but instead a marketing strategy that our current society is constantly using: trolling. He states that most of our world isn’t genuine anymore, and that the people seeking attention have no issues in performing the wildest of acts to gain clout, comparable to figures like Donald Trump and Lil Pump. This newfound epiphany led J Cole to appreciate artists like Lil Pump a lot more, despite their lack of substance. At one point in the interview, he states that he would love to know what drives them to seek this attention, whether it be issues at home or internal struggles.
J Cole acted on this gut feeling of curiosity and immediately set up an interview with Lil Pump after meeting him for the first time at Rolling Loud. Uploaded to his YouTube channel on May 25th, J Cole interviews Lil Pump and talks about life for nearly an hour in North Carolina. It is apparent within the first few minutes that these two artists are very different, whether it be their recognition of Smokepurpp’s existence or the use of sizzurp in the interview. Can you guess which one is J Cole and which is Lil Pump? It is clear that each one of them knows their lane, yet still peacefully discuss their differences despite the Internet’s ability to gas up this so called “beef”. I think it is clear that Cole definitely contributed to most of the conversation though, whether it be because of his natural curiosity or Lil Pump’s inability to give a thoughtful response because of the purple lean dreams he was having.
It has been real rejuvenating following the journey of discovery that J Cole has embarked on, clearly aware of his prejudice and statements. Within a month, J Cole and Lil Pump resolved their supposed unsolvable issues through albums, interviews, and understanding as corny as it sounds. This is a valuable lesson that I think a lot of the world could stand to see and witness. J Cole has instilled a belief that needs to be more popularized, and as been around as long as religion : love thy neighbor as thyself. J Cole is really Buddha.