J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are linked because they are probably the two most universally respected younger emcees in the game. But they were almost linked by something a lot stronger than that.
During an interview with The Combat Jack Show, Cole discussed seeing Lamar perform for the first time at a party in LA in 2010. They got to talking afterward, and that night K.Dot sent J. his tracks 'Pussy and Patron' and 'Cut You Off.' Cole was quite impressed, and tried to figure out how to get Lamar on his Dreamville label.
"I actually wanted to sign him, but I didn't have my business right," Cole explained. “I was like ‘who the fuck is a Top Dawg [Lamar's lable]?’ Then it turned into some shit where he blew the fuck up and reached levels that I haven’t reached. I didn't know that nigga’ would go platinum before me."Cole added that he helped introduce Lamar to Dr. Dre, who later brought K.Dot on to Aftermath. The rest, as they say, is history.