2019 was a big year for Cole in terms of doing features for other rappers. That year, he agreed to a series of collaborations, including 21 Savage’s Grammy-winning single “A Lot,” “The London” with Young Thug and Travis Scott, “Sojourner’” with Rapsody, and “Family and Loyalty” with Gang Starr. Prior to those releases, J. Cole had earned a rep for working solo, but after some reflection, he decided that’s not what he wanted to be known for. He remembers asking himself, “Do you really wanna look back and be like, ‘You didn’t work with nobody? You didn’t have no songs with nobody? You just cool with that?’ No, OK. So start saying yes to some features.” Agreeing to do features was also a good way to get him out of his comfort zone, he says: “When you put yourself in uncomfortable moments, you find out a lot about yourself. And usually, you find that you’re capable of rising to that bar that’s set by that uncomfortable situation.”