In December 2016, J. Cole released a short documentary that included a never-before-heard track that sounded very familiar. The song was titled “False Prophets,” and featured Cole rapping over Joey Badass’ “Waves” beat. Though some people had accused the 4 Your Eyez Only rapper of jacking the work, Joey later defended Cole, insisting he had given Cole his blessing.
Now, months after “False Prophets” debuted, Joey has shed more light on the matter, revealing how Cole had approached him prior to the record’s release.
During a recent interview on Power 106, Joey explained Cole hit him up in the summer of last year, asking Joey to listen to a new track he was working on: “So I’m thinking, like, he wants me to get on a track or something like that […] We link up, I come to the studio, we politicking, and then he’s like, ‘I want to play you this record.’ Right, so I’m like, OK, still thinking this is a track for me to hop on.”
But before Cole played the song, he took some time to explain the track and why he created it. According to Joey, Cole wrote the single right after he returned home from tour.
“He finally got back to doing the things that he used to do, which just made him happy; like sitting on the couch watching Netflix or going on YouTube and just browsing beats,” Joey said. “One day he was writing, and he resorted to his old way of writing, which was going on YouTube and writing [to] some beats, which is what most of us do. So he comes across the ‘Waves’ beat, and he knew it was mine and everything, but, like, he heard the beat and […] it just sparked something.”
Cole apparently wanted Joey’s blessing before the track dropped. And although Joey gave his approval, he had no idea how big the song was going to be.
“To be honest, I didn’t know [“False Prophets”] was going to be, like, promoting the [4 Your Eyez Only] album; I didn’t know it was going to be on the radio every day. That shit is weird,” he said with a laugh, adding there were times when he thought “Waves” was starting to play on the radio, but quickly realized it was Cole’s song.
Joey insists it all worked out in the end, and that after “False Prophets” came out, he knew Cole would be willing to jump on one of his tracks for the upcoming All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ project.
Joey also discussed his acting career, his off-duty time, as well as the inspiration behind his upcoming album, scheduled to drop April 7. In addition, he took the time to clear up his bold statements about 2Pac.
In an interview with Genius earlier this month, Joey praised Pac for his contributions to the culture, but insisted he had better rap skills than the late legendary rapper: “I already know I’m a better rapper than 2pac is,” he said. “That’s just facts. One-on-one battle, I’ll fling Pac.”
During his Power 106 interview, Joey said his comments were taken the wrong way and that he wasn’t comparing his accomplishments or influence to Pac’s.
“There’s the people out there who’ve never heard Joey Badass music, so they’re like, ‘Who the fuck are you? How the fuck are you better. How? You haven’t done nearly…’ and it’s like, ‘Bro, I know. I’m not saying that,’” he explained. “Pac is literally my biggest influence when it comes to just being a person. People took it the wrong way.”
Check out the full interview above.