Before hitting the floor in his home state of North Carolina for a half-time performance at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game last month, J. Cole sat down with GQ for a portion of an all-encompassing interview that would lead him to cover their April 2019 issue. The profile released online Monday morning (March 18), as Cole dished on many topics including plans to be more collaborative in the future, the famed Dreamville sessions, being shutout by the Grammys, leaving his comfort zone, and more.
Back in 2017, Joey Bada$$ claimed J. Cole was done giving features. A decision that Cole’s done a 180 on, which has been cemented in 2019, as Jermaine’s already appeared on 21 Savage and Offset‘s albums. “I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m like, ‘How long am I gonna be doing this for?’” he said.
“I’m starting to realize like, oh shit — let’s say I stopped this year. I would feel like I missed out on certain experiences ya know? Working with certain artists, being more collaborative, making more friends out of peers, making certain memories that I feel like if I don’t, I’m gonna regret it one day.”
The mythical Dreamville rap camp resulted in the creation of exactly 127 tracks, most of which will likely sit on somebody’s hard-drive before being chopped down into a more concise album featuring collabs between his ‘Ville signees and those not even on the roster. “It was like Disneyland or some shit,” Cole said of the January Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions. “I’ve been so secluded within myself that people think I don’t like anybody, that I won’t work with anybody. It’s a reputation that’s been extending to my artists, too.”
As far as the Grammy Awards go, the “Middle Child” rapper is at peace with the drought continuing for the rest of his career. “I’m not supposed to have a Grammy, you know what I mean? At least not right now, and maybe never. And if that happens, then that’s just how it was supposed to be,” Cole concludes.
Read the profile in full over at GQ.