Back in Apr. 2018, Smokepurpp led a “F**k J. Cole chant” in response to Cole’s single “1985,” which seemingly targeted Purpp and Lil Pump. While Cole didn’t return the favor during his recent KOD Tour, he did touch on the chants in his latest interview with Angie Martinez.
While the “F**k J. Cole” chant recently got new life, the rapper admitted that it’s actually been going around way before Smokepurpp hopped on the wave. “That ‘F**k J. Cole’ chant you’ve seen, that was prominent for at least a year before that song [‘1985’] came out,” he stated during the 90-minute discussion. “There was a whole energy happening which was new to me […] I was genuinely confused. Why are they saying this? Who is saying this. Are they for real?”
To many of the rapper’s fans, the chant seems like a form of disrespect, but it wasn’t until Cole actually went to a concert where the phrase was being used, that he realized it was simply a marketing tactic. “Somebody might be trying to fight me or something,” he said of his previous beliefs. “I had to go see how real it was […] I go in there just to see what it is in person. And everybody in there was like, ‘Oh, s**t. J. Cole. I love your s**t.’ At that point he realized, ‘Oh, it’s like a marketing ploy.'” He added that the culture has shifted to being about trolling to gain popularity. “We’re in the generation of trolling,” he explained. “These kids have figured out that attention is all that matters. The skill? Who gives a fuck about the skill. Fuck quality. It’s all about attention.”
Cole attributed the new attitude to Donald Trump being the president. “We are living in the Donald Trump era,” he continued. “I look at it in the same lens. There are a couple artists that came up on that ‘F**k J. Cole’ energy.”
Despite the target the new rappers have put on his back, J. Cole actually likes their sounds and the direction they’re taking the culture. “I love them […] I actually fuck with their music,” he said when asked what he thought about the new wave of artists. “It’s not like I drive around listening to it, but I’ve spent time with it. It’s fun.”
Check out the full interview with J. Cole and Angie Martinez in the video above.