Fresh off an All-Star Game Halftime performance in his home state, J. Cole is capitalizing on the momentum early in the new year. Five days before his 34th birthday, Cole dropped his now platinum single, “Middle Child.”

The song immediately gained radio play and has now peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. In February, he was the main attraction during the All-Star Game Halftime performance. This month he is increasing the promo by unexpectedly covering GQ Magazine.

On the cover, the multi-platinum rapper dons a gold floral patterned robe. He talks about the possibility of never winning a Grammy, collaborating with more of his peers and more.

“I’m not supposed to have a Grammy. At least not right now, and maybe never. And if that happens, then that’s just how it was supposed to be,” he says.

“But I would’ve been the dude that had that one great album and then fizzled out,” he says about losing Best New Artist at the Grammys in 2012. It’s a general consensus that the Dreamville honcho has remained consistent throughout his career. His fifth studio album, KOD was certified platinum with no features. When he got word, he was happy about it but did not want the attention to get misconstrued.

“I was loving it. I was like, ‘Word up—this is funny as hell.’ But the second or third time, I was like, ‘All right, it’s almost embarrassing now.’ Like, ‘All right, man, y’all gonna make me put a feature on the album just so this shit can stop, he said.

Collaboration is the best form of art. Although he released a successful project without any collaborations, he fears that if he continues this path he will miss out on opportunities and new relationships.

“I’m starting to realize like, oh shit—let’s say I stopped this year. I would feel like I missed out on certain experiences,” says the Fayetteville native. Working with certain artists, being more collaborative, making more friends out of peers, making certain memories that I feel like if I don’t, I’m gonna regret it one day.”

With over a decade in the rap game, Cole is a seasoned veteran who continues to reinvent himself and his music.

 

View this post on Instagram

At 34, J. Cole is undertaking the professional equivalent of a journey up the road to Hana: He's suddenly collaborating with other artists; he's forming new connections to the SoundCloud set; he's more active on Twitter; he even bought a place in NYC. “I've reached a point in my life where I'm like, ‘How long am I gonna be doing this for?’ I'm starting to realize like, oh shit—let's say I stopped this year. I would feel like I missed out on certain experiences, you know? Working with certain artists, being more collaborative, making more friends out of peers, making certain memories that I feel like if I don't, I'm gonna regret it one day.” Read J. Cole's full GQ cover story at the link in bio. (📸@awolerizku) #newgq #jcole

A post shared by GQ (@gq) on