J. Cole recently sat with Angie Martinez for an interview about a variety of topics, including KOD and its follow-up The Fall Off, the art of meditation, and, yes, Kanye West.
When it came to the latter, Cole told the radio host that he felt used when Kanye hopped on Twitter to share a screenshot of their phoned conversation. "He called me, but I would have never posted that or, like, tell him to post that. That made me feel a certain way. I told him that. He apologized, for the record," Cole said.
He also expressed that the Twitter post diluted the sincerity from their conversation. "I told him that it felt like you just used my name in that very quick conversation for social media and to keep your thing going, whatever you were doing. It just felt like it wasn't sincere because of that."
Lyor Cohen experienced the same surprise when 'Ye posted that now-infamous group shot of himself wearing a MAGA hat alongside the storied music industry exec and Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge. Talking to Pitchfork, Cohen addressed the photo and the chatter surrounding him making the "OK" hand sign, which is synonymous with the alt-right movement.
"Isn't that [a] scuba [sign] for when you're in the water and you're all good?" Cohen said, referring to the connotations behind the hand gesture. As for Kanye, he said, "We were [in Calabasas] because Kanye wanted to play us some music. I was on the way to the restroom and there was Lucian and Kanye was coming out, and he said, 'Oh wow, we're all together. Let's take a photo.'" Similar to Cole's sentiments, Cohen said he didn't know 'Ye would post the photo online. "I thought he was going to take a photo and send it to Lucian and myself," he shared. "I had no idea that he was going to put that on social media."
Commenting on 'Ye's political views, Cohen admitted, "I don't love his politics."
The same thought was shared with Cole, who told Angie Martinez that he feared the tweet of their phone call could have been misinterpreted as an agreement of some kind with Kanye's views, which isn't the case. Instead, he says Kanye wanted Cole to keep him in line: "He said, right off the rip, 'Man, I need you to hold me accountable. Keep me in check. Say whatever you gotta say. I need that. I feed off that.'" Cole responded, "'Are you sure? Because I see this a certain way.' Actually, on the phone, I was concerned for him. That's the real truth. I was wondering like, 'Yo, am I supposed to be helping this dude?' When you empower a demographic of people whose whole intent is to suppress and oppress people, I can't rock with that."
Since those tweets, Kanye has retreated to the studio. Earlier this week, he posted footage of himself in surrounded by potential tracklists for albums by Pusha T, Kid Cudi (as part of Kids See Ghosts), Nas, and Teyana Taylor. As June rolls around, Kanye could use that time to let his music be the speaker box. "I don't love his politics but I was really impressed with the music," Cohen added to Pitchfork. "I think he's doing himself a disservice by not leading with the music."