J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar‘s collaborative album feels like myth. The album has been rumored for over five years at this point. After doing some research on both artist’s respective label situation, old interviews about the album, and analyzing the current landscape of the industry, we present you five reasons why J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar album will come out.
1. Kendrick Lamar & Dreamville are both under Interscope Records
While J. Cole may be with Roc Nation & Columbia Records for his solo music, his record label Dreamville is an imprint under Interscope Records, the same home as Kendrick Lamar (who also is signed to Aftermath and TDE). While we did see Drake & Future‘s What A Time To Be Alive released jointly through two of the major record companies, joint albums work best when they are released by artists that are under the same label.
It is also important to look at what Cole said when he originally announced Dreamville becoming an imprint under Interscope Records. Joie Manda, the president of urban music at Interscope Records, wants Cole to be an “executive, label CEO, and producer… A Dr. Dre to his Jimmy Iovine” at Interscope with him. With Cole presumably handling most if not all production on a potential joint album, which Kendrick said back in 2012, this gives us even more reason to believe that the album will eventually come out.
“Cole explained that talks with Interscope began when Joie Manda, Interscope president of urban music, reached out to him for a meeting last year. “I thought he wanted me to produce someone over there and I was excited about that, but then he told me that he really believed in me as an executive, a label CEO and a producer. A Dr. Dre to his Jimmy Iovine. He had the vision.”
2. Material is Already Recorded
Throughout various interviews, Kendrick Lamar has repeatedly assured us that material has already been recorded for the album. In 2012, Kendrick said the release of the album was “all on him” along with saying “we could of easily put out the record we made”. As you can hear below in various videos, there’s a lot of material there, with hints of a full body of work already existing. There is also a hint of an album that was close to being released that is talked about in the interviews below.
3. Collaborative Albums Are Hot
Collaborative albums are definitely in ever since Kanye West & JAY Z took over the game with Watch The Throne. The album took only one month to be certified platinum, and while it hasn’t received another certification yet, the album is definitely due for another certification. Outside of how well it performed, Watch The Throne may very well go down as one of the best collaborative hip-hop albums in history.
Even more recently, Drake & Future released their surprise retail mixtape What A Time To Be Alive, which has been certified gold as a digital only release in a joint release between EPIC Records and Cash Money Records. For what the project is, it satisfied fans and was packed with hits.
Could you imagine what a collaborative album from J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar will do?
4. They Complement Each Other Perfectly
In an interview in 2011, Kendrick Lamar talks about the first time he recorded with J. Cole where he said Cole played him ten beats and he wanted 11. That's a heavy statement to say just based off your first recording session.
Kendrick also talks about how he appreciates Cole just as a genuine person, which is the exact type of person Kendrick is. As you can hear below in the three tracks, they both sound at home over each other's tracks. Plus, 'HiiPower' is one of Kendrick's best tracks to date. That's not up for debate. Locking these two into a studio to record a full album would create perfection.
5. The Fans Want It
Let's keep it real - the fans have been dying to for this album to come out for over five years now. There is a huge demand for both artists and by combining the demand for both into a highly anticipated collaborative album will ignite an even bigger fire. Hell, Kendrick just released eight demos as an album and it sold 143k first week (182k with streams). What do you think a collaborative album between the two will do?
6. The Game Needs It
A collaborative album between J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar would really shut down the game. This album is going to be a commercial success, regardless of the quality of music which is sure to be high quality. All three of Cole's albums are platinum (one with no features), while both of Kendrick's major label efforts are certified platinum. Both fare well on rhythmic and urban radio without compromising their sound. Both of them are capable of making landmark solo albums, so could you imagine what a collaborative effort will do to the game? The game really needs to have that one album that defines a generation. Right now, it feels like we're lacking that album and this collaborative effort could be that.