Image via VH1

Image via VH1

J. Cole, who says his new album has allowed him to break free from the stress he felt while crafting previous works, recently spoke with NPR about how his maturity has also helped him appreciate material from other musicians more. “The more I live my life, the more I understand more what [2Pac] was saying,” J. Cole said. “Every new year of my life, I have a new level of understanding. It’s like that with Bob Marley, too. Now, as a grown man of 29, rediscovering Bob is like, ‘Oh, my God.’

“It’s like the wisdom and simplicity of what he’s saying could go over your head when you’re a kid,” he continued. “You’re just singing, ‘Don’t worry about a thing. Every little thing…’ To a kid that does’t mean anything, but to a grown man who’s 29 and stressed about stuff that don’t matter, Bob is telling me, ‘Yo, it’s going to be good. Don’t even sweat that.’ ‘Let It Be’ [from] The Beatles. Those are simple, potent, wise phrases that stand the test of time because they hold truth.” Listen to the interview below for more on how he’s found happiness and what his conversations with Kendrick Lamar are like.