As J.Cole crisscrosses the country celebrating the five year anniversary of his classic mixtape The Warm Up, he had headlines snatched from him during his stop in LA by a certain Canadian ESPY host. By naming Cole one of the “two kings in this shit” Drake may have snubbed his rival Kendrick Lamar, but he also big upped his fellow LSC brother in a major way.
With that anointment comes a tremendous amount of pressure, but I imagine Cole can handle it (remember “Cole under pressure/ What that make? Diamonds”), besides, in an interview with Noisey, the Fayetteville native reveals that this isn’t the first time Drizzy put pressure on him.
We used to ride around and listen to them and be like, “Yo, when we get signed, this is the album!” But when Drake put out So Far Gone for free and took over the mainstream sound, then I had to compete against that wave that just happened. So, I couldn’t just put out a tape with just freestyles and shit, and not put my best foot forward. I had to show n*ggas what I was comin’ with.
The duo fueled a bit of a renaissance in the mixtape game with this type of forward thinking. They essentially gave away two classic albums, but got to call them mixtapes because they 1.) had a few “freestyles” over other people’s beats and 2.) were free. So Far Gone and The Warm Up are undeniable classics, and laid the groundwork for the two to become stars, both critically acclaimed and commercially successful.