Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.26.2021

Nardwuar, the Canadian interviewer whose impressive research skills often surprises his interviewees, recently caught up with J. Cole at Windmark Recording studio in Santa Monica, California.  

The location is actually where Cole recorded a track on his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, which was released seven years to the date of the interview. “I’m just realizing that right now,” Cole said. “This is on some synchronization, God type level. That’s crazy.”

The Human Serviette typically brings gifts for his guests during his interviews that crack open conversations leading to interesting and oftentimes unheard of information. This time, Nardwuar brought Cole a J. Dilla turntable, which led the two to discuss Cole’s J. Dilla samples — specifically the intro to his Friday Night Lights mixtape. He also gives the North Carolina-bred rapper several vinyl records, including some that feature the original songs Cole has used as samples. Each one ties into a story about Cole’s upbringing, inspirations, and his beat selections. 

Later, in the interview Cole praises Nardwuar and his unique interviewing style. “You’re a legend … we appreciate the work you’ve done on documenting this culture and this music that we love, but also diving into the nooks and crannies of all the stories that I wouldn’t even fucking think anyone would ask, but I’m so grateful to talk about it,” he said. 

Before the near hour-long conversation ends, Nardwuar blows The Off-Season rapper’s mind by asking him if he told Dr. Dre about Kendrick Lamar. 

“Who told you that? Who gave you that piece of information?” Cole asks. “The answer is yes, I did. I’m not going to say I was the first to tell him … when I brought him up … I was like you gotta sign this kid from Compton.”

“Shoutout to Dr. Dre, he made the right decision,” Cole continues. “I met him and instantly was like, highly impressed. That would’ve been the first artist [we signed] in my mind. But come to find out he had bigger shit going on.”

Check out the full Nardwuar vs. J. Cole interview below: 

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