(AllHipHop Rumors) I’m still trying to understand how he was left off of MTV 2’s ‘2016 Hottest MCs In The Game’ list, but I digress.
The North Carolina rapper has had a very successful career, and his success has truly been exemplified in the last two years.
If J. Cole didn’t remind you of who he was in the game by going double platinum with no features, he surely came back with a reminder when he dropped one of the biggest albums of the year, his ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ with hardly no promotion and marketing.
We are sure fans and less successful rappers alike would like to know what Cole’s keys to success are, so his manager Ibrahim ‘Ib’ Hamad explained to Billboard why the rapper has been so successful.
I think that the only way music sells is if you put in the work. I think there’s a lot of back work that people aren’t seeing that Cole put in for seven years, and just assume that he’s putting out music and it’s just selling when realistically he’s been on the road for seven years, doing Dollar and A Dream shows, he’s been talking to people. When he has the time, he’ll have like a conversation with everybody that stops him. We literally had to stop doing meet and greets on tour because he would literally sit there and talk for five minutes with everybody and it just started to get to the point where he would be done with his meet and greet right before the show. It was just too taxing. He’s that kind of person. But all that stuff adds up, all those years of talking to people, all those years of doing Dollar and A Dream shows, all those years of going on tour that people weren’t seeing. Not every show coming up was sold out, not every show coming up were people who knew all his words. You need to go through that, you have to put in the work to get to the point where music can sell. If your music is streaming, there’s not much for your music to sell because people can just hear it for free or if they have a membership,” said IB.
Cole’s manager also touched on why he’s not big on features as the rapper doesn’t want to force anything.
“Cole’s never gonna force anything. He’s not the guy that’s out, hanging out with rappers or in the studio with rappers all day. He’s really in the studio with his team and making music with his producers and his artists. He’s done songs with other people involved but it might not make the album. [His artist] Ari [Lennox’s] voice made the album on “Change” because she came in, added something to it and it worked. If it doesn’t work, Cole’s not gonna put it on there because it’s a name. He’s never gonna put it on there just to say he got a feature.”
With rappers like Cole, Kendrick etc, I wonder how can other rappers settle for being mediocre and trash. While many are fans of J. Cole, his latest project has received mixed reviews. How do you feel about ‘4 Your Eyez Only?’