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Would Jay-Z find time to jump on Roc Nation artist J. Cole’s album Cole World: The Sideline Story before its release later this month? It was a question hip-hop fans have been wondering for months. Cole wasn’t able to get Jigga on the yet-unreleased “God’s Gift” as planned, but he still got some help from his boss on the recently released “Mr. Nice Watch.”
Inspired by a line from Jay-Z’s 1997 track “A Million and One Questions” (“Uggh, nice watch, do you really have a spot?”), Cole and Jay rhyme over the squelchy, electronic track produced by Cole himself. Sounding more like the dancier side of Watch the Throne than any Jay-Z solo album, “Mr. Nice Watch” starts out as the sonic accompaniment to Throne’s aggro-synth track “Who Gon Stop Me” before seguing into a piano-driven R&B hook. Jay takes the time theme literally, rhyming “Y’all n—– need a time out/Who got these n—–all wound up?”
As MTV News reports, when asked at a Cole World listening session earlier this year if Jay would appear, Cole replied, “Nobody owes me anything. Jay-Z doesn’t owe me a verse because I signed to him.” Thankfully, Jay is a benevolent boss.
Cole World: The Sideline Story is out September 27 via Roc Nation.
+ Listen to J. Cole’s “Mr. Nice Watch” featuring Jay-Z.