J. Cole is no longer trying to compete.
Fresh off the release of The Off-Season, the Dreamville champ paid a visit to ďThe ETCsĒ podcast with Kevin Durant and Eddie Gonzalez, where he reflected on his career and relationship with fellow rappers Drake and Kendrick Lamar, which has evolved over time. While they came up together, he has learned to value friendship over competitiveness.
ďThese are the guys that push you, and you gotta push them,Ē said Cole. ďI was so competitive early on that, like, even though we were all friends, Iíve never been a reach out, Iíve never been that person, especially when itís competition involved. Itís almost like working out together.Ē
When he was younger, he had a more competitive mentality, which has changed with age. ďI guess in the NBA in the past that was unheard of. Like, ĎWhy would I work out with this ni**a? Iím trying to destroy this ni**a.í That was kind of my mentality early on,Ē he said. ďBut as Iíve gotten older, I realize that no one is truly my peer or can relate to what Iím going through in life more than these people right hereĖjust in terms of whatever pressures there might beÖ Nobody can really relate to that like these dudes, and I really genuinely f**k with these dudes.Ē
He was able to stop viewing them as competition and more as friends. ďIíve been absolutely trying to make an effort as time goes on, to strip the competition from me,Ē he said. ďIím more interested in the relationship ícause I also see a time when Iím not doing this. That seems very realistic to me.Ē
Added Cole, ďIím more interested in the genuine relationship. Before I was interested in the competition. Before I was just interested in putting pressure or responding to pressureÖ Itís just less competition in my mind ícause ni**as is old, bro.Ē
However, he always had respect for his peers. ďIt was always a respect thing. Now itís just more of a wisdom thing where itís like, ĎYo, you can never have it all.’Ē
ďMichael Jordan will never be universally hailed as the greatest player of all timeĖand thatís insane. And LeBron James will never be universally hailed as the greatest player of all timeĖand thatís insane. Youíll never have it, so it comes with age to realize that like, ĎYo, what are you even worried about?í ĎCause youíre just setting yourself up for suffering.Ē
Elsewhere in the podcast, Cole opened up about fulfilling his professional basketball dreams. On Sunday, the Fayetteville rapper made his debut playing for the Rwanda Patriots BBC in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League.
J. Coleís first bucket with the Patriots BBC??
?: ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/GtI8E1mc5k
ó ESPN (@espn) May 16, 2021