For almost as long as Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole have had major record deals, a very vocal and persistent portion of their fanbases have been asking them to collaborate on a full-length album. During an appearance on Lil Yachty's very funny podcast A Safe Place, Cole once and for all let the world know: it doesn't exist and probably won't ever be made, since the two artists "put it to bed years ago."
Cole says that the prospect of the album was real "for a second" very early on Lamar's career. "In a nutshell, [Kendrick Lamar] had pulled up on me at [famed producer] No ID’s spot," J. Cole says. "This was after we was already building this relationship, and I had these beats at the time and I was playing them for him...in that moment, we talked about, ‘Yo, bro, we should do a project.’
Cole says that the full-length collaboration was "a real thing" for a time, and the two actually recorded songs for it together. However, their respective schedules prevented them from ever seeing it through. "Time and life, we ain’t ever got the chance to go in and do it correctly, because that would take time, bro. For us to do something that’s full of our potential, that meets our real potential, you’re gonna need time... At least a year."
Watch Cole's full remarks below at 1:22:04. He promised more details on the project for a podcast to be released in conjunction with his upcoming album The Fall Off.