J. Cole is well on his way to earning a spot in hip-hop’s hall of fame, but who are his favorite MCs of all time? While promoting his new album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, Cole paid a visit to Angie Martinez on Power 105.1 on Thursday, where he revealed his top 5.
“It probably changes all the time,” he said before listing his favorite rappers at the moment.
He rambled off the top four (in no particular order): Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and his Roc Nation boss Jay Z.
But it was a toss up for the fifth spot between Eminem and André 3000.
“I wanna say [André] so bad, but Eminem is like solo dolo,” he explained. “Andre’s incredible, but he’ll tell you himself, he was in a duo so his workload was a little less, but creatively he’s miles beyond.”
He also responded to those who think he dissed Eminem on “Fire Squad.”
“History repeats itself and that’s just how it goes / Same way that these rappers always bite each other’s flows / Same thing that my ni**a Elvis did with rock ‘n’ roll / Justin Timberlake, Eminem, and then Macklemore,” raps Cole on the Forest Hills cut.
But the song was not intended as a diss. In fact, Cole grew up listening to Em.
“It’s silly how big of an Eminem fan I am,” said Cole. “It was a very select group of top notch people that I worship and Eminem was literally at the top of that list. My first song sounded like an Eminem bite. If you think I’m dissing Eminem, I know you just read the headline, or you’re listening to the song with the headline in mind.”
Hear him reveal his top 5 and set the record straight.