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While speaking about his hustling come up, J. Cole says he understands and respects what he and other rappers have endured to get where they are.

When South by Southwest was a little less Hip Hop-centric, J. Cole spent time in Austin selling $1 copies of his The Come Up mixtape. Cole recalled these days while being asked questions at the festival,

“That weekend we only got out 700 copies and even that was a task,” Cole said during an appearance in Austin this week. “Fast forward to my next mixtape, and I had it figured out, I cut straight to the case and went via the Internet.”

With Cole’s strategy, success followed and put J. Cole in a place where he had an established group of core fans who were drawn in by his buzz.

When somebody compared this technique and success to the same style of Lil B, Cole responded in a way many would not have expected.

“Let’s say you think he can’t rap, you see what I did there?”  If that’s true, there’s something genius about what’s being done where he has all this attention. Talent doesn’t matter if you have vision and marketing and buzz.”

Do you think Cole has a point, or should Hip-Hop still be talent oriented?


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