J. Cole Says Long-Rumored Collab Album with Kendrick Lamar Was a 'Real Thing'

Last month, J. Cole was featured on Drake's track "First Person Shooter"

<p>Arturo Holmes/Getty; Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty</p> J. Cole; Kendrick Lamar

Arturo Holmes/Getty; Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty

J. Cole; Kendrick Lamar

J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar would've made a fire squad.

During an appearance on Lil Yachty's A Safe Place podcast on Thursday, J. Cole, 38, revealed that his long-rumored collab album with Lamar, 36, was "a real thing" at one point.

“In a nutshell, [Lamar] had pulled up on me at No I.D.’s spot after we was already building this relationship, and I had these beats at the time and I was playing them for him,” the "She Knows" rapper (born Jermaine Lamarr Cole) said.

“So he took them and, you know, in that moment, we talked about, ‘Yo, bro, we should do a project.’ At that time he’s not on like that, but I’m f---in’ with him," the "Workout" he added.

Related: Taylor Swift Says Re-Recording 'Bad Blood' Remix with Kendrick Lamar Felt 'Surreal and Bewildering'

The Grammy winner went on to explain what got in the way: timing.

“At one point, it was a real thing,” he said. “But bro, time and life, we ain’t ever got the chance to go in and do it correctly, because that would take time. For us to do something that’s full of our potential, that meets our real potential, you’re gonna need time. At least a year."

Michael Hickey/Getty J. Cole performs in Chicago in July 2016
Michael Hickey/Getty J. Cole performs in Chicago in July 2016

He concluded, "When you got two successful artists with lives and families, that’s hard to do. We put it to bed years ago. But at one point in time, it was a real conversation, for sure."

In 2018, the "Wet Dreamz" performer played down the rumors.

“It’s not like it’s something that’s actively happening,” he told Power 105.1's Angie Martinez, per Pitchfork. “Not because it’s never gonna happen. Just because, like… it’s not right now, and I don’t like teasing or playing the game ’cause this has been going on for a minute.”

Related: Watch J. Cole and Danielle Fishel Finally Meet After He Rapped 'I'm Tryna Find a New Topanga' 10 Years Ago

Though the rappers didn't get together for an album, they did release "Forbidden Fruit" in 2013.

J. Cole's latest release was 2021's The Off-Season, which he hinted would lead to his retirement. In October, however, he appeared on Drake's track "First Person Shooter," which was featured on his latest studio album For All the Dogs. J. Cole also appeared on Summer Walker's Clear 2: Soft Life EP, which was released in May.

Meanwhile, Lamar's latest release was a collaboration with his cousin and fellow rapper Baby Keem titled "Hillbillies." He also rerecorded a remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" for 1989 (Taylor's Version) earlier this month. His 2022 album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers earned Lamar a Grammy award for best rap album.

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