"J. Cole is right next to Kendrick," he said around the 14-minute mark in the video up top. "No disrespect. Ya'll fuckin' buggin'. Y'all are buggin'. J. Cole is fuckin' nice man. I don't care how boring they say he is, whatever . . . For someone to be able to sell that story repeatedly, that's fuckin' amazing."
After some well-voiced disagreements from the room, Styles continued. "I don't see where y'all got Kendrick a notch over Cole," he said. "That's not flying with me. That's the same tier of rap, [though] Kendrick may be a bigger star than J. Cole." Styles added that he doesn't believe Lamar, though he is a fan, is the better rapper. He also likened Lamar to a modern-day Kool Keith.
Cole's new album KOD recently debuted atop the Billboard 200, the fifth time Cole has pulled off a No. 1 opening. In a rare interview with Vulture surrounding the album's release, Cole credited Lamar's Damn Tour as being heavily influential on his decision to re-enter the studio. "Kendrick's show gave me chills because I got to see what it was like to have a hit album performed, and it set off a desire," he said. "It was a recognition — like Oh, I'll take that again. Like looking at a menu, I'll have that again."