J. Cole wanted to sign Kendrick Lamar

Remember the time when J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar were still on the come-up?

In an all-new 2 hour interview with Combat Jack, J. Cole reflects on those times and admits he once wanted to sign Kendrick Lamar. Whoof, could you have imagined?

Obviously, things worked out for both of them and they have collabed over the years too. The story of how J. Cole really discovered Kendrick though is what’s special about this interview. The excerpt is below, and the full audio beneath.

I met Kendrick at when all I had out was The Warm Up, nobody knew who he was, he didn’t have a deal. He was signed to Top Dawg–I didn’t know he was signed to Top–I actually wanted to sign him but I didn’t have my business right and I didn’t know he was with Top,” explained Cole. “In my mind, he was the first person I ever found that I was like, ‘Yo, I’m tellin’ everybody I wanna sign this kid cause this nigga’s nasty!’ What happened was I was at a party in L.A. with this group UNI…At the party, they did a few songs and they brought this short, dark-skinned kid up and I was like, ‘Yo, who is this kid?’ And he gets on the mic and he murders…

I’m a rapper’s rapper and I’m not easily impressed and when I heard him I was instantly like, ‘This nigga’s crazy! I gotta go let him know that he’s ill.’ So I walked up to him like, ‘Yo, my nigga, that shit was crazy,” he continued. “This was 2010 and I just had to let him know…He had met me at the XXL Freshman shoot with Jay Rock playing the background…From that night we clicked and he sent me some records. He sent me these songs “Pussy And Patron,” and “Cut You Off” and I was like, ‘Yo, I’m fuckin’ with this nigga. I wanna sign this nigga!’ From there, I felt compelled to always give him any jewels I could… When I was in the studio with Dre I had to tell Dre like, ‘Yo, you ain’t never heard of Kendrick?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, Kendrick? Yeah, I’m supposed to be meeting with him soon.’ And I was giving him the crazy co-sign like, ‘You gotta fuck with Kendrick!’”