When you think of J. Cole, the phrase "platinum with no features" often comes to mind. He's released five albums so far that have gone platinum, three of those without any additional voices featured. When it comes to rapping and singing, Cole is equally talented at both. But his fans have made "platinum with no features" something cringe-worthy for him to hear.
So for his next album, Cole may be tempted to include some additional names there. In a new cover story for GQ that dropped Monday (March 18), the rapper talked about what the four-word phrase meant to him and what it means going forward.
In the cover story, Cole revealed that he initially thought highly of fans' defense of him using the phrase. He then says that things changed after the first time. "But the second or third time, I was like, 'All right, it's almost embarrassing now." He then makes the tease for the future. "Like, 'All right, man y'all gonna make me put a feature on the album just so this shit can stop." It's a funny quip that could come back to haunt fans who have used the four-word phrase to tease fans of other artists about their favorite's capabilities. Instead of distancing himself from his peers, Cole has revealed that he'll definitely work alongside them.
Elsewhere in the interview, Cole also talks about his frustration at why his song "1985 (Intro to the Fall Off)" was misunderstood. "They say, 'Oh, finger-wagging,' because they think I'm like, 'You little rapper," he says. "But I'll play that for somebody that's a deeply invested or deeply rooted hip-hop fan, or somebody that just knows me, or knows the climate of what's going on, and they hear that and they go, 'Whoa, I see what you just did there. Bro, do you know what you just did? You just put your arm around this dude and walked him. Instead of attacking him, you put your arm around him on some little-bro shit."
Last month, J. Cole released a video for "Middle Child" that showcased the commercialization of the black body. He's currently working with the roster of Dreamville Records to prepare Revenge of the Dreamers III. Read the full piece at GQ here.