J. Cole Confirms He Washed Drake On ‘First Person Shooter’: ‘He gonna want his lick back’

J. Cole and Drake collaborated on the song “First Person Shooter” from Drake’s latest album For All The Dogs. Following the song’s release, fans took to social media to debate who had the better verse, with the majority arguing in favor of J. Cole.

Retired rapper Joe Budden also weighed in on the discussion on his eponymous podcast, citing the song as “a big part of what my overall issue is with Drake” and suggesting that Cole outshone The Boy when it came to lyrics.

“That’s not your man,” he declared on Episode 664 of The Joe Budden Podcast. “I hate to tell you rappers, [but] these are not your mans. That is a trained assassin! A murderer! A killer of all kinds. He has been on a spree, a murdering spree. Killing all of our favorites, like one by one, lining them up. He was waiting for you.” 

Addressing those claims, Cole defended Drake, alleging that the Canadian was not interested in dominating the track or overshadowing him, but rather in creating a strong song.

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“In that moment, [Drake] chose the song over the competition and what they (journalists and fans) gonna say,” he explained during a recent appearance on Lil Yachty’s A Safe Place podcast. “And that takes a level of egolessness that’s… you’re putting your ego to the side and like, ‘Yo, I wanna make the best song. For what we have available right now, I wanna make the best song.’ Maybe he knew the narrative might come out… Drake ain’t looking at it like, ‘I’ma take Cole’s fuckin’ head off at some point.’ Nah.” 

Cole acknowledged that Drake comes from a competitive background and anticipated that he “at some point in time gonna want his lick back.” 

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“First Person Shooter” earned J. Cole his first No. 1 hit of his career and also helped Drake tie Michael Jackson’s record for most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1’s by a male solo artist with 13 No. 1 singles. While reflecting on the song’s success, J. Cole admitted that he would have felt almost better if his first No. 1 wasn’t a feature on a Drake song.

“If the other song [Drake & Yeat ‘IDGAF’] would have went No. 1, it’s like, bruh, I’m cool,” Cole said. “I’d almost feel better not having my first No. 1 be off a Drake alley-oop, you know what I mean?”

He continued, “Like, I love Drake and I love that I’m a part of that moment with him with Michael Jackson. But it’s like, bruh, I’m grateful I’m a part of it. But if the other song would have went No. 1, n-gga, I’m still grateful I’m a part of it. I wasn’t at home like, ‘Come on, y’all! Pick up the streams, man! We gotta beat this motherfucker Yeat! Come on now!’ I wasn’t doing that.”

You can listen to the full A Safe Place podcast with J. Cole below.

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