J. Cole Explains How Drake Made Him Change “The Warm Up”, Basketball Helping His Rapping + MORE
J. Cole is currently on his “Dollar & A Dream” Tour, giving fans performances of his seminal mixtape The Warm Up for $1. Drake declared Cole one of the two kings in Hip Hop (along with himself) during the L.A. stop on the tour and according to Cole in his interview with Noisey, Drake affected more than his status as a king back in 2009:
Alot of the songs, like “The Badness,” “Grown Simba,” “I Get Up,” “Can I Live,” and “Lights Please,” were album songs. We used to ride around and listen to them and be like, “Yo, when we get signed, this is the album!” But when Drake put out So Far Gone for free and took over the mainstream sound, then I had to compete against that wave that just happened.
Basketball references have been a motif on Cole’s projects The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights and Sideline Story with Cole admitting that basketball is his first love. It was the instruction of his past basketball coaches, and his failure as a basketball player, which imbued him with a machine-like work ethic in rap:
My coaches used to always tell me “Right now, someone is out there shooting 5,000 shots. And you’re not.” It never hit me till I got older and realized that that was why I didn’t make it. So, I applied that learning lesson to rap. First of all, I never felt like anyone was better than me. But, I still needed to make sure that no one out-worked me. Everyday, I’m gonna write. Everyday, I gonna make five beats. Everyday I’m gonna write verses and songs.