J. Cole says Jay-Z is like a Jedi Knight to the rap world.
The 28-year-old Friday Night Lights rapper was the first artist signed to the hip-hop mogul’s Roc Nation record label in 2009.
He’s since released two mixtapes and two studio albums under the banner.
The lyricist credits his successes to being under the tutelage of such a master in the game.
"Our relationship is great,” J. Cole told People magazine. “He's like a Jedi. He's outlasted all these other rappers and he's still on top."
Before the music artist dove into his career he was an academic.
J. Cole, whose first name is Jermaine, graduated magna cum laude from St. John's University.
He’s thankful he got to experience that time at university because it’s rare in his business.
"I always wanted to go to college. I got a four-year experience that most rappers don't get,” he explained.
The star also credits his mother with instilling his ambition.
One of the most fulfilling outcomes of his success is knowing that he can take care of her after she spent years raising him into the man he is today.
"All my nerve came from her,” he said.
“I'm not the richest, but I found a way so she doesn't have to deliver mail anymore. She can relax, and that's a beautiful feeling."
J. Cole released his second album, Born Sinner, in June, featuring guest appearances from other rap stars like Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent.
The record sold just under 300,000 copies in the US in its first week of release, with singles Power Trip and Crooked Smile making the top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.