J. Cole has opened up about the Hip Hop heroes that inspired him to chase greatness and become one of rap’s dignitaries.
Cole recently sat down for an episode of Hart to Heart with Kevin Hart where he paid homage to some of the game’s legends that paved the way like JAY-Z and 2Pac.
“I got a whole list of people who are the reason why I’m here — my north stars that I look up to. Obviously, Pac. Jay, Nas, Eminem, André 3000, Lil Wayne. And these are obviously the big bullets,” he said.
“I had Royce the 5’9 moments. I had Canibus moments. I had Boom Boom moments. But like in terms of the people that fueled my ambition. That showed me what was really possible. Like the first names I named, those are the highest ones. So those were the people where I was like, ‘Yo, I’m tryna get up there.’ In terms of skill, in terms of success, all of that they fueled it.”
Watch the clip below:
These days, Cole is giving props to the new crop of women stars in rap who he feels are creating some of the most exciting moments within the genre.
“It’s a whole different ball game, like a whole different crop of young superstars and styles,” he added. “I’ve been feeling this for like maybe a year or two — I hate to say it ’cause it almost sounds like pandering — but I really do think like, man, it’s a lot of fire female rappers.
“I feel like they’re doing some of the most exciting [stuff], commercially — they’re giving us a lot of fire moments and I feel like that’s something that wasn’t around when we was growing up.”
He continued: “You always had a Lil Kim, a Foxy [Brown], but there could never be more than one almost, it felt like. Now it’s like, bro, we’re getting moments and moments and moments. I think it’s hard.”
As for his own music, J. Cole linked up with his Dreamville partner Bas to dish out an assist on the groovy “Passport Bros” earlier in July.