Just a day after outspoken radio host Charlamagne Tha God issued a confusing commentary on Drake’s superstar status, his latest episode of the Brilliant Idiots podcast is stirring things up thanks to his unfavorable comparison of J. Cole to Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
While the three artists are widely acknowledged as the top triumvirate of hip-hop, Charlamagne parsed their standing even further in the episode, declaring J. Cole to be an inferior artist to the other two. “You would have to put Drake and Kendrick [Lamar] in the ‘greatest of all time’ combo, right?” he theorizes. “When you play in that era, when you come out in that class with GOATs of that caliber, and even [J.] Cole. Cole got rings but– I don’t put him on the level of Drake and Kendrick. I don’t even put Drake on the level of Kendrick. Skill-wise. Cole is dope. Cole is amazing. I’m not taking anything away from him, he’s a hall of fame all-star. All I’m saying is it’s a difference between what a Kendrick does and what everybody else does to me.”
He does try to ease the sting of his assessment by accepting “Some people may say that about Drake, some people may have Drake the way I have Kendrick and say everybody else is after him,” but continues his Basketball Hall of Fame metaphor. “My point with saying that is those two guys are such GOATs that they make everybody else look almost normal. Charles Barkley looks normal to a Michael Jordan.”
Skating over the fact that Charles Barkley does not have any rings, as Chrlamagne notes Cole does, it’s a surprisingly well-reasoned point from the host, even if his final conclusion is debatable. J. Cole fans might feel a way — actually, they already do, almost constantly — but the subjective nature of art makes it impossible to truly compare the three talent-wise. Drake has the most Hot 100 hits of the three — in fact, he has more than anyone as of this summer — but K. Dot’s got a Pulitzer Prize while is the king of the “platinum with no features” club. Numbers don’t lie, but fans will continue to find ways to make the facts fit their fight, so while Charlamagne might be wrong or right, it all depends on which artist you’re rooting for.
Watch the full episode above.