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The Kanye West album that changed J. Cole's life

J. Cole’s relationship with Kanye West has suffered many pitfalls over the years. However, despite their problems on a personal level, he still thanks Ye for changing his life.

West took him under his wing in 2007 and produced four tracks on Cole’s debut EP, The Come Up. Two years later on The Warm Up, the North Carolinian rapper used several more beats courtesy of Ye, and their relationship went from strength to strength.

However, as the years went on, Cole started to see West in a different light and became disenfranchised from the person he once held in the highest regard.

“I’m such a Kanye West fan,” Cole told Vulture in 2010. “I would love to work with him on a major scale. Not just a song here or a song there I would love to do something extraordinary with him, but I feel like I gotta step my game up and kind of earn my spot before I can worry about that.”

Things changed a few years later when Cole dropped ‘False Prophets’ where he vented his frustrations about the person that Kanye had become. Additionally, in 2014, he also shared ‘No Role Models’, in which he raps, “Now all I’m left with is ho*s from reality shows, Hand her a script, The b***h probably couldn’t read along.”

Their relationship soured further in 2018 after Kanye made his comments about slavery being a choice, and he shared a private conversation between them with his millions of followers on Twitter.

Despite their relationship becoming fractured, it wasn’t always this way, and Cole once told Complex about the seismic impact of Ye’s debut College Dropout on him.

He explained: “This shit was a life-changing album for me. The first time I heard Kanye rap was on ‘Champions,’ but the first time I saw him and figured out who he was was when the ‘Through The Wire’ video came out,” Cole commented.

“That was the summer before I went to school, in June of 2002. From that moment, I was like, ‘This nigga is the truth.’ I was instantly addicted to the music.

Cole continued: “I went and got everything that was unreleased at that time. I was riding with him, to the point that when I got to school that semester in New York, luckily he had a show at S.O.B.’s. and I went. It was a legendary show. His album didn’t come out until like seven months after that, so it was early. That album is all of my memories of my freshman year of college.”