j.cole__1

J. Cole Speaks On His Production Process, Upcoming Mixtape & Keeping Jay-Z Waiting

When it comes to titles, J. Cole is like a dater with commitment issues: He’s not quick to put one out there until he’s sure it’s right. It’s the reason both his upcoming mixtape—rumored to be dubbed Villematic (false!)—and debut album are still officially nameless. The Roc Nation flagship MC and Jay-Z protégé, who laced the theme music for baller game NBA211, is still set on making his own name, though; not only on the mic, but behind the boards, as well. Having carved out his own sound—jazzy, instrument-rich, sample-based melodies—the soulful rapper is set on crafting bangers for your favorite MC. That is, once he actually starts sending them out. 

Minutes before taking the 106 & Park stage, J. Cole hopped on the horn with VIBE to talk upgrading his production, his upcoming mixtape, waiting for the perfect Jay-Z record and the thing about titles. —John Kennedy


VIBE: Your production got some good acknowledgement after “Bun B For President” hit the web. What’s the back story on that record?

J. Cole: Bun hit me towards the end of last year, he was working on his album. I was working on my album but I also wanted to get my production foot in the door, which I’m still working on to this day. But anyway, I was mad inspired. This is Bun. Let me cook up some crack. [Laughs] Lo and behold, I made that beat. And I was like, “Aw man, this is perfect.” I came up with the concept because back in the day there was “Eric B For President “ with Rakim. So I was like, “Aw man, let’s do ‘Bun B For President,’” so I just played off the concept and sent it to him. He was loving it, but I don’t know what happened in the meantime. I read the interview where he said that he ain’t really know what to do on it, which was cool. I know what that’s like. But it would’ve been amazing, man, if that would have made his album. I would have loved to hear that.  

Have you been sending tracks to other people, though? 

I make beats for other people, but I’m so busy. I was just having this conversation with Busta Rhymes. I got an incredible beat for Busta, and a verse. I get so caught up in artist mode [that] I forget to even send these things out. I got beats for Nas, Jay, Andre [3000]. All these people that I’m doing beats for, they would never know. [Laughs] They just sit in my folder. Everything is going to happen at the right time. These beats will get out there when the timing is right.

Who’s the most random person you’ve made a beat for?

I don’t want to say random, but I got this incredible J. Cole-meets-RZA [track] that I’d love to get Ghostface, Raekwon, Vado from Harlem—like a real New York thing. Then do the same thing on some South shit, and get all these Down South rappers on this gritty New York-sounding beat. It would be incredible. I feel the beat would make RZA proud.

What would you name this mega North-meets-South, Wu-sounding record?

I called the beat “Kill ‘Em All.” It ain’t nothin’ too crazy. Kill ‘em all, nigga! [Laughs]

[Laughs] That sounds dope in the background!

This shit is crazy. [Laughs]

Titles seem to mean a lot to you.

Yeah. I take pride in my names! I used to sit there for five minutes and figure out what I’ma name the beat. And, literally, it’s the first thing that comes to my head. Sometimes I’ll name it “This Beat Sucks.” [Laughs] Or “This Shit Incredible.” 

Ha! You take a little longer for CD titles. What made you name the next mixtape Villematic?

That’s the thing, the mixtape isn’t called that—just the song. The cover kinda confused people. My plans wasn’t to call it VIllematic. I’m deciding between titles right now.

All clear. So what’s the theme of the mixtape? Is it in the same vein as The Come Up and The Warm Up?

From the Web

More on Vibe

David Livingston/Getty Images

'Chappelle's Show' Co-Creator Says R. Kelly's "Goons" Confronted Dave Chappelle Over Skit

One of Chappelle's Show's most recognizable skits recently popped back into the mainstream conversation after Lifetime's docu-series on R. Kelly aired in early January. The 2-minute sketch features Dave Chappelle singing and enacting a song titled "Piss on You." The skit took its cue from Kelly's ill-famed sex tape where he urinated on a 14-year-old girl and went to trial for child pornography charges.

While the skit's reception was met with mixed reactions, the main subject was far from pleased with Chappelle's production. During an interview with "The Breakfast Club," the show's co-creator/writer Neal Brennan revealed that Kelly "wanted to fight Dave. His goons stepped to Dave in Chicago and Dave's goons intervened. The goons negotiated."

Prior to that revelation, Brennan broke down the purpose of comedy, stating that, "We will observe things, we'll make fun of things. Did people want us to round up a posse and go arrest R. Kelly? Like, what were we supposed to do?"

People were mad last week that we did an R. Kelly sketches 15 years ago. Here's me explaining comedy to them. pic.twitter.com/FQoxIALqkr

— Neal Brennan (@nealbrennan) January 15, 2019

Two years ago, Chappelle briefly discussed the sketch on HOT 97 and said it almost remained in a vault of skits that were never going to see the light of day. "That was the one sketch... I was going to cut it but then I watched it, and I said, 'This is so funny' and this is the crisis — can the audience handle it? So we left it in there," he said. In an interview with GQ, Kelly said he never heard of Dave Chappelle.

Watch the full interview below.

Continue Reading

Andre 3000 Stars In New Space Thriller 'High Life'

A new space thriller is coming to theaters this year. Andre 3000 will star in the new film alongside Twilight's Robert Pattinson in High Life, and the first trailer looks pretty intense.

The feature focuses on a group of criminals who are coerced into a mission to travel towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source. They are also forced to undergo sexual experiments while in outer space. The 2-minute preview features Pattinson and Andre 3000 as they struggle to survive on the spaceship.

High Life originally premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2018. It received positive reviews from numerous film critics.

"High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis," Rotten Tomatoes said of the film.

The film is written and directed by Claire Denis. High Life will hit theaters on Apr. 12. Watch the new trailer in the video above.

Continue Reading
Romain Maurice

They Don't Want You To Win: D.J. Khaled Joins 'Bad Boys' Sequel

D.J. Khaled knows they don't want you to win, but that hasn't stopped the producer and performer from doing just that.

Variety reports Asahd's father will star alongside Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the forthcoming action-comedy Bad Boys For Life. It's unclear at this time what role Khaled will play.

Also joining the cast is Vanessa Hudgins, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Jacob Scipio, and Paola Nuñez. Joe Pantoliano reprises his role as the irritable Captain Howard.

Smith and Lawrence play detectives Mike Lowery, and Marcus Burnett respectively. While Lowery shoots first and asks questions later, Burnett, the family man, tries desperately to incorporate a more pragmatic approach.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will helm the film and Jerry Bruckheimer returns as the franchise producer. The first Bad Boys was released in 1995 with a $23 million budget and earned $141 million in the box office. Bad Boys II released in 2003 had a $130 million budget and earned $273 million.

The third installment of the buddy-cop film revolves around a new specialized unit that clashes with Lowery and Burnett's old-school tactics when a new criminal threat emerges in Miami.

Continue Reading

Top Stories