J Cole is a revered lyricist in hip-hop culture, and it is not for no reason. As hip-hop has seen a focus shift from lyricism to beats, Lamar has remained dedicated to blessing his listeners with both remarkable instrumentals and high-quality lyrics.
That said, akin to artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, The Creator, he has managed to stay atop the rest of hip-hop due to the sheer excellence of his artistic output. Since his emergence in the early-2010s, Cole has gone on to work with all the greats in the business and is now considered one of the best MCs of the new school.
However, there is one older artist that the emcee (real name Jermaine Cole) revealed he is “all the way in” on. In 2014, Cole and his counterpart Kendrick Lamar were part of Eminem’s Rapture Tour, a series of Australian live performances following the release of The Marshall Mathers 2 LP.
While on tour, both Lamar and Cole were interviewed on Australian radio, where they spoke about the privilege of being able to perform alongside Eminem. When asked about the Detroit emcee, Cole replied, “For me, I’m such a huge Eminem fan! Especially from his first three albums, I was like, all the way in, I’m still all the way in ’cause he’s so amazing. That was a very pivotal point in my rap career. My first song I ever made was just biting Eminem and Nas. If you go listen, you will hear both influences!”
He continued, “When you really start rapping, you just take all your influences and rap like them until eventually you become who you are because of all these influences, and [for me] Eminem was a main ingredient!”
Later in the interview, Kendrick Lamar spoke about being in the studio with Eminem, unveiling, “I was in Detroit, he flew me out to Detroit. I had a show, and he brought me to the studio and told me to do the hook, so I was about to dip, then he was like, ‘Think you can do a verse?’ and I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I can do a verse!'”
J Cole has previously cited Eminem as one of his early inspirations as well as Nas who he had a minor disagreement that culminated in him recording the track ‘Let Nas Down’. You can hear the Kendrick Lamar and J Cole interview below.