The Journey to J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar’s “Reminiscing”

J. Cole and Kendrick are set to release a new collaboration album titled Reminiscing on February 16th.

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this album has me up late thinking about how revolutionary it could be. Okay, not really, but based on their latest individual albums 2014 Forest Hills Drive and How to Pimp a Butterfly they’ve proved themselves to be at the top of the list for best current rap artists.

At the end of 2014, J. Cole released his album 2014 Forest Hills Drive with barely any promotion, and in just three weeks the album went on to become the highest selling rap album of the year. A few months later in March, Kendrick released How to Pimp a Butterfly. The album currently has 11, yes ELEVEN, Grammy nominations.

As if the two did not already bless us with enough, they gave us all a gift in late November releasing freestyles over on of each other’s tracks as Black Friday freestyles. Kendrick did his freestyle over Cole’s track from Tale of 2 Citiez, and Cole did his over Kendrick’s Alright.

But that was not the end. In December they both released videos presenting how hard they worked and keep working to be where they are in the industry. HBO followed Cole from the week he announced 2014 Forest Hills Drive and through his journey with the album. Thankfully for those of us who still don’t have HBO GO, the episodes of J.Cole: Road to Homecoming have been uploaded to Vimeo weekly as they are shown on HBO.

During a radio interview with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez, Cole was asked “What is the happiest thing in your life right now?” He gave the perfect response:

“Appreciation. Appreciation. It don’t sound big, but it’s big… There’s no amount of money that will ever make you stop if money is what you care about. You’ll keep going. But if you place your importance on appreciation, love, that is enough. There’s enough of that in everybody’s life right now if they just took the time to look. If we look to those things for happiness then it’s attainable. If we look to the other things for happiness, it’s never attainable.”

Later in December, Kendrick released a short video Hard Work on Youtube.

Although his video is not a full series but rather a short PSA-like video, his message is strong – everything he has earned is from the hard work he has put into his career not just because he “made it” in the world.

February is a big month for the two as they are both nominated for multiple Grammy awards and the release of the much anticipated collab album is set then as well. With the Grammy Award Show being on the 15th and their album set to release on the 16th, I would say they are both working hard to shock all of us.



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