In a recent interview on Drink Champs, Big Daddy Kane shared his perspective on today’s lyrical rappers, highlighting J. Cole as his personal favorite among the new generation. He emphasized the importance of both lyrical prowess and a distinctive appearance, suggesting that a captivating image can draw listeners’ attention to the lyrics.
“As a lyrical emcee I think that it’s very important for you to look the part as well,” he said. “Look fly so if the [people] are not paying attention to what you say, they’re paying attention to how you look and then they gravitate to the lyrics. But they are a lot of lyrical emcees you just have to find them.”
Kane also debunked the notion that contemporary lyrical artists struggle with selecting beats, explaining that they often lean towards boom bap over more commercially-driven production, “most lyrical emcees like boom bap and that’s not what’s really selling or what’s playing on the radio,” he said. “But you do have lyrical emcees that rhyme over that modern style production. Like J Cole.”
“J. Cole is my favorite emcee of this era,” he declared. He also showed appreciation for Griselda rappers Conway the Machine and Benny The Butcher but maintained that J. Cole possesses a distinct quality that sets him apart.
“J. Cole is a problem,” said Kane. When Kendrick Lamar entered the conversation, the Juice Crew member illustrated his admiration for Cole by quoting a memorable line from the Dreamville founder’s appearance on Power 107’s L.A. Leakers Radio in 2021, leaving the hosts in awe.
“I love Kendrick, but you got to understand, Cole said: ‘No Cosby s—t but if they sleepin on me, f—k ‘em’.”
He then led the studio in a round of applause for J. Cole’s clever use of wordplay. Checkout the clip below.