The Spring issue of XXL is here and to cover the magazine, they have enlisted J. Cole and the whole Dreamville roster. The outlet spoke to everyone in the crew, which includes the likes of Omen, J.I.D., EarthGang, Lute, Cozz, Ari Lennox and Bas. The cover itself was shot by the legendary Jonathan Mannion around the time the crew was in Atlanta for the Revenge of the Dreamers III sessions.
Throughout the Cole World conversation, he touched on what it feels like to have a label of his own, some things he has planned this year, being the OG of rap nowadays and why he tweeted that artists should reach out to him if they felt like talking after the passing of Mac Miller.
He also revealed he’s been working with T-Minus for a few months now and how his label stacks up with the powerhouse that is TDE.
XXL: You’ve been known to be hands on with your production. Was it an adjustment to relinquish some of that control during these sessions?
J. Cole: Me and T-Minus been locked in for months. I don’t even want to make beats no more unless I’m working with T-Minus and I just want to add some shit or help. But, for at least the next month or two, I don’t even want to make no beats. I just want to rap. For the first time I’ve been able to focus on that for the most part.
XXL: J.I.D recently said that Dreamville and Top Dawg Entertainment are in a friendly competition. Is that label’s success any motivation for you?
J. Cole: One hundred percent. They murder the game, honestly. They really set a high bar for a label’s success. We look up to what they did, what Top [Dawg] did. Hell yeah. But of course, we want our time, too. That’s what this year is about, the beginning of that. We’ve been bubbling, we damn-near been underground. We signed Bas in January 2014. That was only five years ago. That was our underground period, and we coming out of that right now…We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for [Bas’] Too High to Riot, [Cozz’s] Cozz & Effect, [Omen’s] Elephant Eyes, Ari [Lennox’s] Pho, Lute’s West1996 Pt.2, [J.I.D’s] The Never Story, EarthGang’s Rags. All of these keep laying the foundation. At a certain point it’s going to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. This [rap camp] was a major first step in being pushed to the mainstream. Now, all the clips is loaded with music. It’s not even fair.
Read every interview from the issue and cover story HERE.