J. Cole wants people to dead the whole “J. Cole went platinum with no features” slogan.
In a rare interview with GQ, the notoriously private artist opened up about his “no features” reputation, and how he’s started to rebel against his usual secluded approach to music.
“I was loving it,” Cole said of the “no features” phrase when he first heard about it. “I was like, ‘Word up—this is funny as hell.’ But the second or third time, I was like, ‘All right, it’s almost embarrassing now.’ Like, ‘All right, man, y’all gonna make me put a feature on the album just so this sh*t can stop.’ ”
The “MIDDLE CHILD” rapper added that he noticed how his “no features” reputation affected his industry-wide perception and he didn’t like it. “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,” he explained. That guilt paired with the feeling of misunderstanding led to him wanting to try something different — working with others.
While he hinted that his next project might have some features, he didn’t quite lock-in the idea. “Well, I don’t have any right now that I really want to boast about,” he admitted. “Not saying it’s impossible. It’s just about getting out of my comfort zone.”
Cole’s Revenge of the Dreamers 3 session has also opened him up a lot. As fans know, the 34-year-old rapper spent 10 days in Atlanta, Georgia recording with some of the biggest names in music — DJ Khaled, Wale, Ludacris, Rick Ross, T.I., 6lack, K Camp, Young M.A, Swizz Beatz, Vince Staples, and more — churning out 127 songs that will be trimmed down into an album.
Upwards of 100 artists and producers attended Cole’s historic creation of ROTD3. Even before completing the legendary sessions, Cole reflected on his historic gathering of artists, writing on Twitter: “Shed tears tonight writin a verse sh*t was beautiful. Revenge sessions going down in history ❤️.”