J. Cole Admits His Song “False Prophets” Is Partially About Kanye West
After an anticipated wait, J. Cole finally released his lengthy interview with Angie Martinez today (May 16), which dives into a slew of important topics, including his recent conversation with Kanye West.
The "1985" rapper sat down with the radio host for an hour-and-a-half-long interview at Salaam Remi's studio in Miami, Fla. just before his set at Rolling Loud this past weekend (May 12), and they cover tons of bases that fans have been itching to know about. From the themes and stats behind his recent KOD album, which led to him joking about an "I hate you" text he received from Drake, to his social media addiction and how the youth use it, Cole doesn't hold back in the conversation.
Martinez also asks Cole about his thoughts on West's tweets and controversial thoughts, which includes him showing praise to Donald Trump and calling slavery a "choice." At the time of Kanye's slavery comments going viral, Cole coincidentally tweeted what appeared to be a subliminal quote from Nas that read, "These are our heroes." The rapper also says that Yeezy told him to hold him accountable for his actions and words during their phone call.
"It's touchy because I don't like talking about other people," he admits. "If this is me and you on a microphone, I'm gonna keep it 100 with you. I'ma go in on the whole situation, but I feel hesitant to go in for the public. So I'll tread lightly if possible, but the only reason I'd feel comfortable taking it any distance is because I didn't even ask...you put that out there. When he called me he said, 'I need you to hold me accountable. Keep me in check. Say whatever you gotta say. I need that. I feed off that.'"
Even though he is hesitant to talk about Kanye in the interview, he does confirm that "False Prophets" applies to the hitmaker, even though he wrote it with the intent of exposing a greater culture of worshipping celebrities and not directly about 'Ye.
"First of all, [I'm] just a fan," he continues. "Really, I don't know you. I'm just like a dude that was a fan back in the day, and when I'm writing 'False Prophets,' which that song wasn't about him. There's one verse that applies to him for sure, but if you listen to that song, that song is about what this shit is exposing. What I gotta check myself about. And I check myself on that song as well...We're worshipping celebrities."
Another of the lengthy interview comes when Martinez mentions Kanye and the super producer believing that Cole was dissing him on his "False Prophets" record from 2016. If you recall, Yeezy tweeted a screenshot while he was on the phone with the rapper, but Cole believes that making the phone conversation public news felt insincere to him.
"Nah, he called me, but I would've never posted that or tell him to post that," he says. "That made me feel a certain type of way. I told him that. He apologized, for the record. I told him that it felt like you just used my name in that very quick conversation for social media and to keep your thing going or whatever you were doing. It felt like it wasn't sincere because of that."
The Fayetteville native also dives into his past addictions, which includes his relationship with alcohol and feeling "tugged" by wanting to drink, as well as his use of social media. The rapper believes he had a social media addiction, and despite taking a long hiatus from using it, he only felt as though his time away was a break, but not taking away the addiction.
"With social media, I was off it so long that I thought I had beat this addiction." he admits. "Then I got back on it and I realized, 'Oh nah, you just took a break.' I didn't face it head on...I'm dealing with it right now...I feel like with social media, it's like, what's this pull? Why do I keep checking this shit every five minutes?" he describes. "Just being conscious that there's an urge to be on my phone. I don't like something pulling my strings. I want to be in charge of my own decisions...I feel like I'm allowing other people's thoughts to be my own. I feel like I'm diving into other peoples' business."
Martinez also asks Cole who "KiLL Edward" is, to which he responds with a smirk on his face. If you recall, fans originally believed that KiLL Edward is simply an alter ego played out by Cole on his KOD album. The rapper confirms that KiLL Edward is, in fact, him.
"He's an artist," he jokes. "He's an artist. He's fire though...What do you mean he's me? [laughs] Nah, he's me. I wanted to make it weird, at least for 10 seconds just to say I did."
Cole then describes what made him want to create an alter-ego, which is named after his stepfather.
"It first started after Forest Hills Drive," he admits. "It started to feel like J. Cole, which sounds weird even saying that in conversation...that name started feeling like a box. I had told so much of my story from The Come Up, The Warm Up, Born Sinner, Forest Hills Drive. It was always about me, my aspirations, my dreams, my pains. It was a box. I started feeling limited. I had been telling my story for so many projects. So many songs...I don't want to talk about myself no more, which eventually would birth 4 Your Eyez Only. It wasn't like I was aware...all of this was subconscious. Another thing that came out of that was I started experimenting with the music. The production, my voice, and I started doing these songs in this KiLL Edward style. I didn't have a name, I just had these songs...I needed a fire name."
Cole says that the "Kill" part of the name doesn't come from wanting to place harm on his stepfather, but from wanting to kill the parts of himself that he believes he got from him. He says there's "some shit in me" that he doesn't like that relates to his step-dad.
Watch Cole's full interview with Angie Martinez below to hear them talk about a slew of important topics.
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