It's been about 11 years since the beloved Nardwuar and J. Cole first connected for an interview, and they're again making a splash with their new 50-minute chat. A major highlight turning heads is when Nardwuar revealed that Cole told Dr. Dre about Kendrick Lamar's music.
Hearing the unknown detail left Cole speechless, but he did indeed confirm the story. During a visit to Dr. Dre's studio to work on Dre's mythical album 'Detox' years ago, Cole co-signed Kendrick and told him, "Yo, you gotta sign this kid from Compton!"
While a person named Manny who was associated with Drake also knew about K.Dot, Cole was officially the first rapper to tell Dre about him. (Cole and Kendrick eventually made a few songs together, including "Forbidden Fruit.")
Dre took Cole's advice and signed Kendrick to a joint deal with his label Aftermath and Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). "Shout-out to Dr. Dre," Cole added. "He made the right decision." These days, K.Dot is still signed to both, though he's leaving after his next album to focus on his own imprint pgLang.
Kendrick and Dre – both from Southern California – would then make history in 2012 with 'good kid, m.A.A.d city,' selling over 3 million units in the US and earning four Grammy nods.
In a 2017 interview with Howard Stern, K.Dot recalled how he hung up when Dre's team initially reached out, as he didn't believe it was real.
Another interesting tidbit from Cole's Nardwuar interview is why he chose #15 as his jersey number not only when he played high school basketball but during his stint with the Rwanda Patriots in Africa.
As basketball fans may have guessed, Vince Carter wore #15 for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels – from Cole's home state – in the late 1990s, "immortalizing" it for Cole and other fans.
Cole also gave Nardwuar his flowers. "You're a legend and we appreciate the work you've done on documenting this culture and this music that we love." It was a special moment, especially since Nardwuar suffered a stroke in 2015. The 53-year-old seems to have recovered.
Watch just above!