For close to four years beginning in 2014, rapper J Cole stopped doing press. Sure, there was the odd interview, but he largely cut interviews out. Clearly suspicious about the function of interviews, Cole told Billboard that he was “through trying to play whatever game is going on.”

Cole told Vulture that interviews rarely hold substance. “Nobody ever asks nobody s**t, that’s the f***ing problem,” he said. “It’s almost like we’re asking everybody — Hey, you good? You good, you sure you good, man? Okay, cool. Everybody’s f***ing good.”

He feels similarly about social media, a reason why he has such a low profile online. Cole seems uninterested in creating a heavily edited persona online. “If I’m in a conversation with somebody and it’s natural and it’s organic, I’m going to speak freely,” he told Billboard. But rarely do I feel the need to hop on Twitter or social media and chime in, especially on rap and music s**t. This s**t is not real. This s**t is f***ing fake. This s**t is high school. This s**t is f***ing celebrity worship.”

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When he does do an interview, however, people tend to listen. According to radio personality Angie Martinez, who also spoke with Billboard, “in a time where people chronically overshare, there aren’t many artists that make people stop what they’re doing to hear what they have to say. Cole holds one of those few prestigious slots.”

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