It’s not Photoshop. J. Cole and Lil Pump buried their beef when they came face to face for an interview, which took place at Cole’s North Carolina studio The Sheltuh.
The rappers, who’ve had a highly-publicized feud, acknowledged that the moment may come as a surprise to their fans. “They probably won’t believe it. They’ll say it was Photoshopped,” said Pump.
During the hour-long conversation, Cole reveals how he was introduced to the 17-year-old “Gucci Gang” rapper and praises him. “This kid is smart,” he said. “He knows more than what people think he does.”
Following the release of “1985 (Intro to ‘The Fall Off’),” Pump wanted to FaceTime Cole. At first, he thought it was a set up. “He 17. He like a master troll,” said Cole before realizing there was more to him. They eventually met at Rolling Loud before setting up an interview.
They start off by asking each other how they got started rapping. Pump reveals that he was kicked out of school for smoking weed and getting into fights. They also share stories of growing up with single mothers and Pump describes his contentious relationship with his stepfather (“I still don’t fuck with bro”).
Cole tries to play therapist and get to the root of his issues, but comes up short. “I be trying to make connections that are maybe not there,” he said.
Kicking back on the couch, Cole asks how much of Pump’s music is based on real life. “Most of the shit I talk about, I’ve done before,” says Pump. “I used to take a lot of drugs. I slowed down off that bullshit. It’s all just a waste, bro. You see people dying off that shit.”
“To me you strike me as somebody that’s too smart to do too much,” Cole responds, after which Pump reveals that he stopped taking Xanax and “all that bullshit” a couple months ago.
Pump, who recorded the song “Fuck J. Cole,” reveals that he’s a fan. “By now, I kinda get it because we make different type of music, so people feel some type of way,” he said. “I fuck with your shit. Your shit’s hard.”
Cole goes on to explain why he wanted to do the interview. “I feel like it’s a cultural divide,” he says. “A new wave of kids who love this type of shit. They young, they predominantly white. Then you got people who love this style of hip-hop.”
But after time, his opinion on Pump’s music changed. “I know now that I was wrong. All I was doing was being afraid that the thing I fell in love with was no longer relevant or respected, and in that moment it brought fear,” he said before citing Pump’s “Gucci Gang” lyrics (“Your mama still live in a tent”).
“It ain’t nothing like what I grew up on or even what I make or what I prefer, but it’s like, ‘What I’ma do? Be scared of this? Deny this?’ I’m resisting this shit when I should be accepting this shit.”
He decided to stop resisting. “The real way is to embrace you and to show love. When we talk on the phone or I met you in-person, in that moment, I’m like, ‘I love this lil’ dude.’ I had an appreciation for you.”
Cole ends by asking him what he thought of “1985.” Pump says he just heard the song a week ago. “I wasn’t mad. I was just like whatever,” he says. “At the end of the day, I’m in my own lane. I do what I do. I have fun with it.”
He tells Cole, “You just gave me hella clout. If a rapper like you is talking about me, it’s ’cause I’m doing some shit. That’s what I was thinking. I’m doing something right.”