J. Cole Talks Autism Lyric, Kanye West and More in Wall Street Journal Interview

Roc Nation details growing his brand.

Posted: 08/16/2013 01:17 PM EDT
J. Cole

Just as he forecast on "Cole Summer," for J. Cole, this season has been nothing short of a success. While there's no surefire recipe for winning in the rap game, the North Carolina-bred lyricist chatted with the Wall Street Journal about career milestones like besting Kanye's Yeezus, and missteps like his offensive autism lyric.

Cole's Born Sinner debuted second behind Kanye's album, but eventually nabbed Billboard's No. 1 spot. A month out from the release, the 27-year-old switched his due date to pit himself against the Chicago MC, but he denied considering West an "adversary" or being in competition with him. He did it, "Because I'm such a fan," he said.

He also discussed the one bump in the Cole summer winning streak: the controversy surrounding the line, "I'm artistic, you n----s is autistic," on Drake's "Jodeci Freestyle." Although he immediately apologized for the rhyme, Cole answered whether he believes his brand was damaged as a result. "I actually blew it up more by addressing it and apologizing," he explained. "I could've kind of kept it silent ... I think people understand that my brand is sincere, it's heartfelt."

From the experience, Cole learned to be more cautious of his wordplay. "You have to be very careful with your movements because you're a brand. As fast as it comes, it can go if you make the wrong move."

Elsewhere in the hour-long sit-down he speaks on Trayvon Martin, Illuminati rumors and graduating college at the top of his class.  

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 (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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