Producer: J. Cole
J. Cole: “That came from when I was in a hotel room while on tour. This was before we started on the Rihanna tour. I think there was a ton of college tours. I was listening to Kanye West’s The College Dropout in the hotel room, I just had it playing.
“‘The New Workout Plan’ comes on. I usually skip that song. It’s one of the songs that I skip and I don’t skip much. For some reason, on that day, I let it go all the way. When it got to the end, I guess my ears were just trained differently that day because I heard it differently.
“I heard the part where he was, like, ‘Work out for me,’ and I heard all the other shit. Then, I just got super excited. My eyes lit up, like, ‘Oh, shit!’ I ran right to the sampler, chopped the sample in the hotel room, and kind of made the beat. It was a slower beat at the time. Over the next few days, I kept fucking with it.
“I had the melody for the hook in the hotel room, so I probably had the song recorded in about four days and it just felt really good. Everything is competition for me and I look at production the same way. I love it, but I also love getting better and seeing my growth.
“I’m on Logic and I use Virus. I started out on the ASR when I was 15. Then, I moved to Reason when I turned 20 and I got Logic a year and a half ago. A lot of Friday Night Lights was done on Logic. Reason was The Warm Up.
“Right now, people don’t really know [me as a producer]. All the time, I realize I’ve got to do something successful first. I know I’m as good as a lot of people. I know I’ve made some hot beats. But I understand why the people don’t really care yet. The album will change [the way I’m looked at as a producer]. Also, me doing production for other people will change that.
“At that time when I made that song, I needed a single real bad. I was tired of sitting around, I needed movement, I needed motion. Between that one and another one I had did in the same week, I went to Jay like, ‘Yo, let’s go.’ It was between those. I wanted to go with this one because I felt more connected to the record.”