J. Cole has had it. After years of silence, he’s contemplating taking drastic measures to stop his fans from spreading one of the least funny memes in recent memory: “J. Cole went platinum with no features.” The joke/rallying cry’s genesis is simple. Cole’s last three albums — 2014 Forest Hills Drive, 4 Your Eyez Only and KOD — are all platinum, but none have any features. That arbitrary distinction — most rappers have other rappers on their rap albums — gave Cole truthers all the ammunition they needed to attack fanbases like Drake’s peaceful Aubrey’s Angels and Nayvadius “Future” Wilburn’s wise and docile #FutureHive. Cole was, according to their logic, better at making rap albums because he refused any help. It was a shaky premise and, thankfully, Jermaine took responsibility for his wayward flock in a cover story for GQ.
“I was loving it,” Cole said of the infamous joke. “I was like, ‘Word up—this is funny as hell.’ But the second or third time, I was like, ‘All right, it’s almost embarrassing now.’ Like, ‘All right, man, y’all gonna make me put a feature on the album just so this shit can stop.'”
Unfortunately, he was unwilling to get into the details of who, hypothetically, would be a feature on his highly anticipated next album. “Well, I don’t have any right now that I really want to boast about,” Cole said. “Not saying it’s impossible. It’s just about getting out of my comfort zone.”
Cole: Be a man of conviction. Now is not the time for weakness. Throw some features on your next album; you’ll still go platinum.