While chatting with Nardwuar on the seventh anniversary of his hit project, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole confirmed that he played an important role in Dr. Dre’s signing of Compton hip-hop legend Kendrick Lamar. When asked if the rumours of his involvement were true, the “ATM” artist asked, “who told you that? Who gave you that piece of information?”
“…The answer is, yes. I did. I’m not gonna say I was the first to tell him…I was like, ‘Yo, you gotta sign this kid from Compton,” Cole explained to the journalist, adding that he mentioned Lamar’s name while Dre was working on his 2002 project Detox.
Complex reports that one of the producer’s team members was already familiar with the up-and-coming “Collard Greens” artist’s work, and eventually, Dre would go on to sign him to his Aftermath imprint in 2013. “Shoutout to Dr. Dre. He made the right decision,” Cole told Nardwuar, who then asked the Fayetteville native if he had personal aspirations of signing the talent he had discovered.
“100 percent,” the rapper confirmed. “I don’t know what I would’ve signed him to. You know what I mean? We didn’t have our business intact, but that’s how much I rocked with him at that time. I met him and instantly was highly impressed. That would’ve been the first artist in my mind [to sign], but come to find out, he had bigger shit going on.”