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THE ETCS

J. Cole on Competition, Respect, and “The Off-Season” | The ETCs

Fresh off the release of his new album “The Off-Season,” rapper J. Cole joins Kevin Durant and Eddie Gonzalez on the latest episode of Boardroom’s “The ETCs” podcast to take stock of his award-winning career and how he views his own growing legacy — and his recent decision to join Rwanda Patriots BBC of the all-new Basketball Africa League.

J. Cole discusses what it meant to enter the hip-hop game alongside guys like Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and how he’s grown to appreciate friendship over competitiveness with the passing of time:

“These are the guys that push you, and you gotta push them. I was so competitive early on, even though we were all friends. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that no one is truly my peer or can relate to what I’m going through in life more than these people right here. Just in terms of whatever pressures there might be — celebrity, family, privacy — nobody can relate to that like these dudes. And I really, genuinely fuck with these dudes.

The competition part, I’ve stripped it away. Now, I’m more interested in the relationships, because I also see a time when I’m not doing it. That seems very realistic to me. And in a time when I’m not doing it, I never want to be like, “Damn, we never kicked it. We never really even did nothing.” I’m at that point where I’m more interested in the genuine relationship, when before, I was more interested in the competition.”

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