So, it looks like J. Cole is still doing features after all. The Fayetteville rhymer has been quiet lately on the music front, putting his money where his mouth is as the “Millennial Uncle” of hip-hop and focusing on advocacy. He visited San Quentin, suggested boycotting the NFL for their treatment of Colin Kaepernick and other demonstrators, tweeted support for Jemele Hill and received funds for his Dreamville foundation by Kaepernick. He’s not too far removed from the game though. He managed to give Cardi B some sage advice and randomly pop out during a Kendrick Lamar tour stop in Detroit.
Today marks his first actual music in months though, as he collaborated with Paris-born, Brooklyn-based MC Saloman Faye on “Live And Learn.” It’s a four-minute sojourn through Faye’s mind. The cerebral MC rhymes introspectively at a steady pace over the dusty breakbeat and gloomy sample, dropping poetic gems like, “I used to see rain as the proof I could cry with no fear.” He radiates resilience and an intriguing depth of thoughtfulness on the record.
Though Cole doesn’t drop a verse, his “I don’t wanna be found, you won’t see me if you lookin’ around” message on the song’s chorus speaks volume on the reclusive artist’s mindset. We haven’t seen him — or heard him, rather.
During the press run for Joey Badass’ All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ album, Joey noted that Cole told him, “you’re the only person I got on my features list. I ain’t doing no more features. Only your feature is the one that’s important to me.” If those words were taken in full context, it speaks well on Faye that Cole decided to lend vocals to the track that will be on his King Saloman EP which drops November 23rd.