J. Cole Lists Eminem, Jay-Z and Nas As His Hip-Hop Heroes: ‘They Fueled My Ambition’ 

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J. Cole recently sat down with Kevin Hart for an episode of the comic/ actor’s Hart to Heart show on Peacock. In a new clip from the interview, the Dreamville founder gave flowers to some of the Hip-Hop legends who laid the foundation for aspiring artists like him. 

Referring to them as his “north stars,” Cole credited JAY-Z, Nas, Andre 3000, and Tupac as  the figures that ignited his pursuit of greatness. 

“I got a whole list of people who are the reason why I’m here — my north stars that I look up to. Obviously, Pac. Jay, Nas, Eminem, André 3000, Lil Wayne. And these are obviously the big bullets,” he said.

He also mentioned other iconic names like Royce the 5’9 and Canibus, recognizing the impact they had on his musical journey.

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“I had Royce the 5’9 moments. I had Canibus moments. I had Boom Boom moments. But like in terms of the people that fueled my ambition. That showed me what was really possible. Like the first names I named, those are the highest ones. So those were the people where I was like, ‘Yo, I’m tryna get up there.’ In terms of skill, in terms of success, all of that they fueled it.”

Elsewhere in his conversation with Kevin Hart, Cole celebrated women in hip hop, most notably the new generation of female rappers. 

“It’s a whole different ball game, like a whole different crop of young superstars and styles,” he added. “I’ve been feeling this for like maybe a year or two — I hate to say it ’cause it almost sounds like pandering — but I really do think like, man, it’s a lot of fire female rappers.

“You always had a Lil Kim, a Foxy [Brown], but there could never be more than one almost it felt like. Now, we’re getting moments and moments and moments. I think it’s hard,” Cole explained.”

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