A breakdown of the most unexpected interview of the year.
Two weeks ago, J. Cole sat down with Angie Martinez during the Rolling Loud festival. During the interview, Cole expressed his willingness to meet Lil Pump. He noted that he was aware that Pump was at the festival as well, and he wanted an opportunity to meet him. His words did not sound threatening, nor was Cole being sarcastic. He was genuinely interested in meeting the man whose fans couldn’t stop chanting “Fuck J Cole.” Somehow, Cole made it happen.
When DJ Akademiks first announced that Cole and Pump interviewed each other for a short segment, fans of both artists were in shock. When’s the last time you heard of a feud ending with each rapper interviewing the other? Probably never. A few days after Akademiks announcement, the interview hit the web. At moments, the sit down between Cole and Pump feels awkward. While Cole spends most of the interview in a state of genuine curiosity about Pump, the “Gucci Gang” rapper seemed out of place. His usual energetic vibe is missing, instead replaced with a timid yet sharp young man. It’s a side of Pump that isn’t broadcasted daily, and it was refreshing.
The generational divide has never been clearer. At one point during the interview, Cole mentions that he was headed to college in NYC in 2003, when Pump was just three years old. At that moment, it becomes clear how much of a difference a generation makes. Pump missed the era before the internet when kids were forced to record their favorite songs off the radio with a cassette player. He missed “Ether” and the Def Jam empire. Tupac and Biggie were just murals in his neighborhood, heroes that he never got to see in the flesh. It seems like Cole keeps all these things in mind when trying to connect the dots, and understand the motives behind Pump’s actions.
The hour-long sit down is enlightening for fans of either rapper. While there are people who feel as if neither Cole nor Pump needed to do this, those people are incorrect. The hype of hip-hop beef and feuding is pointless, although entertaining. Bridging the generational divide and keeping the culture viable is a much more important goal. Each rapper left with a better understanding of each other, and of their fans. After bypassing the faux feud and meeting each other on a mutual level of understanding, Cole and Pump left fans with several takeaways from their interview of each. Here is our list of the most important pieces of their conversation.