Music

J. Cole Recalls Harvard Speech, Aims High For The GRAMMYs

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When J. Cole stopped by Hot 93.7’s studio, he discussed his recent experience speaking at Harvard University.  The rapper wasn’t afraid to share his opinions on the music industry with the students, or the Hot Morning Crew!

Cole was invited to Harvard recently, to speak as part of the University’s Hip-Hop symposium. The experience of speaking at an ivy league school was a bit daunting, even for a superstar like Cole. “It was a little intimidating,” he recalled. “They asked me to come speak and I’m like ‘What am I gonna say? These kids go to Harvard.’ But it actually turned out to be incredible.”

The rising star spoke on a wide range of topics to his audience, with a mix of his personal experiences coming up as well as broader thoughts on the music industry and where he– and all rappers, for that matter– fit into the grand scheme of things.  “Some of it was business,” he recalled of his lecture. “Some of it was my personal experiences getting in to the game, and some of it was how I feel like hip-hop stands now, in the world.”

“I feel like hip-hop is under-appreciated– it’s low on the totem pole of respect,” he continued. “They barely even showed any rap GRAMMY Awards.  Drake won rap album of the year and they didn’t even televise it.  Not to mention, rappers never win for Album of the Year, even Kanye West.  If any rapper deserved it in the past ten years, it would be Kanye with ‘Graduation.’ I think that should have been album of the year.”

For his part, Cole is hoping his new album will have him up for a GRAMMY, but he is setting his sights higher than just the rap-oriented categories. “I’m really going for Album of the Year,” he joked. “I’m trying to compete with the white people, man.”

–Bill Sencio, Hot 93.7/ Hartford

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