Despite once sharing a label home, Del Amo, California rapper Reason is convinced that another rapper is going to be bigger than his former labelmate Kendrick Lamar. Appearing on the podcast New Rory & Mal, Reason predicted that when J. Cole releases his album The Fall Off, he will be “bigger” than Kendrick and explained why.
As the hosts reminisced about Kendrick’s seismic verse from Big Sean’s “Control” in 2013, they noted that the Compton rapper was a bigger name than almost everyone he named, except for Drake. However, when Mal asks if Reason thinks Kendrick is bigger than J. Cole today, Reason has to offer his rationale for saying no.
“I think when The Fall Off drops, the fruits of his labor from being so active will show,” he says, after being careful to note that it was “not ’cause he’s better than [Kendrick]” due to TDE fans being “f*cking crazy.” “They’ve done this for years, though,” he elaborates, miming a set of scales going up and down. “To me, they’ve kinda like — [Kendrick] is bigger at this point, Cole [is bigger at that point]. They’ve kinda done that for a long time.”
He knows just how crazy TDE fans — and staff — can be after a controversial appearance on another show last week, during which he criticized the label for the disjointed rollout of his new album Porches. His comments prompted TDE president Moosa to call in and get into a heated debate about his position on the label, reminding him that Moosa’s predecessor Dave Free hadn’t wanted to sign Reason at all. Reason says that he and Moosa both have things they wish they hadn’t said but that the conversation was necessary.
Meanwhile, hip-hop fans have debated for years whether Kendrick or J. Cole was the bigger artist (after Drake, of course) due to their similar levels of commercial success and parallel rises through the blog era. However, J. Cole himself said around the time his last album, The Off Season was released, “As I’ve gotten older, I realize … no one is truly my peer or can relate to what’s going on in my life better than these people right here — just in terms of whatever pressures there might be … nobody can really relate to that like these dudes, and I really genuinely f*ck with these dudes.”
Check out videos of Reason addressing both questions above.