During his recent appearance on the A Safe Place podcast, Lil Yachty brought up the superstar Cole and K. Dot project fans have been craving for over a decade.
The North Carolina rapper spoke about the origins of the intended project and how they were working together.
“In a nutshell, [Kendrick Lamar] had pulled up on me at No I.D.’s spot after we was already building this relationship, and I had these beats at the time and I was playing them for him,” he said.
“Was that our first time linking? ‘HiiiPoWeR,’ one of them beats? There’s a few beats, a gang of beats that I did, I gave him. Some of them like, maybe had a hook on them, a verse — this, that, and the third.
“So he took them and, you know, in that moment, we talked about, ‘Yo, bro, we should do a project.’ At that time he’s not on like that, but I’m fuckin’ with him.”
However, timings didn’t work out as their solo careers and family life continued to build, with the pair ultimately putting the idea aside.
“At one point, it was a real thing,” he said. “But bro, time and life, we ain’t ever got the chance to go in and do it correctly, because that would take time. For us to do something that’s full of our potential, that meets our real potential, you’re gonna need time. At least a year.
“When you got two successful artists with lives and families, that’s hard to do. We put it to bed years ago. But at one point in time, it was a real conversation, for sure.”
He added: “It’s not like it’s a ton of songs. It’s not like it’s some album sitting on the shelf somewhere.”
J. Cole revealed he and Kendrick Lamar had begun working on the joint album in May 2012.
“I just started working with Kendrick the other day,” he told Hot 97.5 at the time. “We got it in, finally, again. [It’s gonna be an] album, man.
“We actually worked, bouncing ideas, which was great. The vibe was so good that it was like, man, that’s absolutely gonna happen.”
He added: “We got maybe four or five [songs] together.”
J. Cole produced “HiiiPoWeR” for Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 album in 2011. The pair later collaborated on “Forbidden Fruit” for Cole’s 2013 album, Born Sinner.
One of the pair’s most popular unreleased songs is “Temptation,” which Kendrick Lamar previewed for fans in a store around the time they first discussed a collaborative album.