J. Cole is one of the best feature rappers of his generation, and his verses are highly sought-after. It has been assumed that obtaining a verse from Cole comes at a hefty price, with figures like $2000 a word being thrown around.
However, in a new interview on Lil Yachty and Mitch’s A Safe Place podcast, the Dreamville Records co-founder called the figures cap and revealed that he actually doesn’t charge other artists for features.
“I’m not gonna charge a n-gga $2,000 a word. I don’t even charge n-gga for the verse, I’m doing this sh-t because I’m inspired to do it. I don’t charge n-ggas because I wanna be on the song.”
Watch the clip below.
The speculation around Cole’s feature payment seems to have stemmed from his 2018 verse on the song “The London,” where he raps, “A verse from me is like eleven birds, I did the math it’s like 2000 dollars every word.” However, he clarified that this line was more of a lyrical flex than an actual representation of his pricing, saying, “Yo, bro, it’s just a bar, bro. Like, a lot of my bars be really on point but that’s just a flex.”
J. Cole has featured on a number of songs this year, including collaborations with Gucci Mane (“There I Go”), Lil Durk (“All My Life”), J-Hope (“On the Street”), Summer Walker (“To Summer, From Cole”), Burna Boy (“Thanks”) and Drake (“First Person Shooter”). His feature on the latter helped him achieve his first Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper. It 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.
Reflecting on the success of the song, Cole admitted that he would have felt better if his first No. 1 hit didn’t have an assist from Drake. However, he also said that he is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Canadian and be a part of that moment with him.
“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.”
Watch the full podcast below.