It is no surprise that when speaking about major influences on his rap career, multi-hyphenate, Jharrel Jerome, would name Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole. In a recent interview with VIBE, he opened up about his ‘Rap Pack’ EP, how these three have been major players in helping him get to where he is today, and which album he relates to the most.
When asked which album he identified the most with, Jharrel looked to Drake’s Take Care. He stated that it has always shifted depending on where he is in his life, often citing Kendrick’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills as touchstones for him. Talking about the current moment he is in, Jerome expressed that Drake’s album resonates most.
He wasn’t afraid to discuss the complexity of the emotions the Toronto rapper brings to the table, saying “I’ve honestly never related to Take Care more in my life than I have now. I heard that album when I was 16 and played it today… I played that sh*t and cried, no lie. That’s the beauty of music, man, as we grow, we hear things differently. Take Care… some of the quarrels, relationship issues, and fears that [Drake] was expressing, I feel like, ‘Damn, did he write that for me?’”
That feeling of inspiration Jerome felt comes across strongly in his ‘Rap Pack’ EP, which can be streamed now on all major DSPs. His ability to capture the essence of Drake, Lamar, and J. Cole singly and combine it to create his own sound is truly remarkable.
Though Jharrel may prefer Drake most right now, one thing is for certain – these three idols have left a permanent mark on his artistry moving forward, a feat not all music can boast