News of J. Cole retiring came by way of Twitter when he announced that he’d no longer be lending out his services, formally dubbing the features biz.
Once notorious for “going platinum” without needing ’em, this past year and a half Cole clearly wanted to show he knows how to play with friends. In a two year span, Cole released more features than he has in his entire career.
When speaking to XXL for their spring 2019 issue, the Dreamville frontman touched on his decision to ramp it up as opposed to his usual introverted ways.
“Last year, I set an intention to say yes way more than I say no. Say yes to features. Step outside of my comfort zone. And it’s still going. I’m trying to level up this year on the features. Last year was like a preview.
The rapper continued:
“I don’t want to be done with rap years from now and look back like, Damn, I didn’t even work with nobody. I don’t want to have no regrets. The year that I’m going to have is all coming from a place of when this shit is all said and done, I want to know that I left no stone unturned. I fucking did everything I wanted to do. Even shit I didn’t want to do but ended up being glad that I did it in the end.”
That year ended last week for Cole. In the announcement, he offered what he called his “last feature,” which happened to be a remix of the classic song ” Diamonds.”
“This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run,” he wrote.
This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr 🤯🤯🤯🤯 💎💎💎💎
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019
And it was a helluva run. Fayetteville’s finest left no stone unturned, popping up on every artists’ project you can imagine and washing them on the regular.
From the up and comers like J.I.D. who think they got it to the living legends like Royce’ da 5’9 who’ve proven they have, Cole, showed up and showed out, putting on a run that was one for the books.
Although rappers and the word retire have historically been like oil and water, (CC: Nicki Minaj) a look on which features he shined brightest is appropriate in the event he does keep his word. Here they are: