Who Is Better Between J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar? Busta Rhymes Weighs In 

Rap legend Busta Rhymes recently appeared on Amazon’s +44 podcast, where he shared his all-time Top 5 MCs. While he ultimately revealed his choices to be Rakim, Nas, Eminem, JAY-Z, and The Notorious B.I.G., he confessed to being torn when choosing between J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar for a potential future spot on his list.

“I’m almost there with J. Cole,” Busta admitted, recognizing Cole’s creative output and recent feature appearances. “He’s definitely one of the major new candidates.”

However, Kendrick’s sheer lyrical prowess and iconic “Control” verse presented a strong counterpoint.

“He gave people a lot of opportunity to respond, and nobody wanted no smoke,” Busta explained. “I think that’s a testament to how serious what he is able to do at will. Because a lot of the times I think people get misconstrued with the fact that he is so brilliant and he’s so broad with his range creatively that you forget that he’ll spank your ass on his leisure time.”


Busta highlighted that Kendrick’s infrequent releases and focus on his own artistry contribute to his mystique. “He don’t do that often because people don’t really want that smoke,” Busta said. “He’ll be quiet for five years and then come out and deal with you in a way that he ain’t even trying to compete, or you can’t compete. So I just think in that sense, Kendrick is a real different type of problem and force to be reckoned with.”

Acknowledging Cole’s recent surge in feature collaborations, Busta noted, “I think a lot of light is being shined on Cole right now because … he’s being real active with features, from the Lil Yachty to the Drake to 21 Savage.”

“He’s moving and shaking in that space with grace. And he’s making sure you understand that he ain’t got no problem with chopping your head off, too.”

Busta mused that if Lamar were to become as active in features as Cole, the conversation about the top 5 would be entirely different. “That’s why I said I’m torn between [Cole] and Kendrick,” he concluded. “Because I feel like if Kendrick was to get active in the same way that Cole is being active, it would be a way different conversation.”

Jump to the 2:22 mark in the video below to hear Busta delve deep into his thoughts on Kendrick and Cole.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments