Wednesday, November 17, 2010
J. Cole On His "Looking For Trouble" Verse
J. Cole just always destroys features.
“[That verse] was last minute. I got the beat the night before from my manager. But nobody told me they wanted to do it for G.O.O.D. Friday, and definitely not that G.O.O.D. Friday. I was like, ‘Oh man, that beat is dope. I’ll write to it soon.’ The next day I woke up in Kalamazoo, Michigan—I was on tour—and I was getting ready to go to Detroit because I had a radio promo event to do. So I got a call from Kanye and he was like, ‘What’s up? It’s Kanye. Can you get that verse today? I’m tryna put the song out tonight.’ I honestly didn’t think I could do it in time so I told him that. He said, ‘I’ll wait. We got engineers up all night so you got a while to do it. But if you can, have it done by today.’ I said, ‘I’ll make it happen somehow.’
“I wrote my verse on the hour-and-a-half ride to Detroit, did the radio promos, left that, went directly to the studio, laid the verse, and sent it to him by 5 o’clock. Mind you, I didn’t hear anybody else’s verses or the song itself, I just heard the beat and did my verse. I drove back to Kalamazoo and did the show. When I got offstage, he had just put the song out, and I sat back and watched all the comments as people went crazy. It was a beautiful night.
“I don’t know what it is [when it comes to features]. What it comes from is fear, that’s why I go so hard [on guest spots]. I’m a real competitor. It’s just a fear of somebody besting me and dominating me with a better verse. Not every song is like that, but on a song like ‘Looking For Trouble’ it is. It’s that spirit of hip-hop: Let’s see who can come the best. I don’t know if I’m going to have the best verse, but I know ain’t nobody just gonna kill me.”