J. Cole sat down with Angie Martinez this week for a sprawling conversation that covered a range of topics including his return to social media, beating Drake's streaming record, and the new wave of "Lil" rappers.
The full interview will not be available until Wednesday morning, but Martinez played a few clips on Power 105.1 Tuesday.
Addressing the recent "Fuck J. Cole" chants at Smokepurpp shows, Cole explained, "That 'Fuck J. Cole' chant you've seen, that was prominent for at least a year before that song ['1985'] came out [...] There was a whole energy happening which was new to me [...] I was genuinely confused. Why are they saying this? Who is saying this. Are they for real?"
Cole said he pulled up to Adam22's store in Los Angeles where the No Jumper podcast is taped to see how real the hate was. "Somebody might be trying to fight me or something," he explained said. "I had to go see how real it was [...] I go in there just to see what it is in person. And everybody in there was like, 'Oh, shit. J. Cole. I love your shit.' At that point he realized, 'Oh, it's like a marketing ploy.' It's trolling. We're in the generation of trolling. These kids have figured out that attention is all that matters. The skill? Who gives a fuck about the skill. Fuck quality. It's all about attention."
"We are living in the Donald Trump era," he added. "I look at it in the same lens. There are a couple artists that came up on that 'Fuck J. Cole' energy."
Martinez asked Cole what he thought about the new wave of "Lil" rappers in general and he said, "I love them [...] I actually fuck with their music. It's not like I drive around listening to it, but I've spent time with it. It's fun." He added that there might be detrimental long-term effects from some of the messages, but he understood the appeal.
Speaking on his return to Twitter, J. Cole compared social media addiction to the pull he's felt in the past to drink alcohol. Telling a story about resisting temptations to drink in the past, he said, "I got stronger because I faced it head on." Then he added, "With social media, I was off it so long that I thought I had beat this addiction. 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."
Cole continued, "I feel like with social media, it's like, what's this pull? Why do I keep checking this shit every five minutes? [...] 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."
Video of the full interview will be available Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. ET. The conversation will also include details of J. Cole's recent phone conversation with Kanye West.