The North Carolina rapper contributed vocals to the resurrected New York group’s first new song in 16 years. The track, which came out last week, primarily features posthumous vocals from MC Guru, who died in April 2010.
“When it comes to this generation of MCs, ones that are lyrically on the level that Guru was on and someone that he would want to work with, Cole is that guy” Gang Starr’s sole surviving member DJ Premier said of Cole’s feature on ‘Family and Loyalty’ (which you can hear below). “When Cole heard the record he got the chills and knew it was a classic.”
Following the release of ‘Family and Loyalty’, Cole appeared to signal that he will never feature as a guest artist on a track again.
Describing the Gang Starr feature as an “honour”, Cole wrote on Twitter on Friday (September 20): “This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run.” You can see the tweet below.
This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr ???? ????
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019
Cole’s fans expressed their dismay at this apparent announcement in the replies to this tweet — although some also voiced their hope that Cole’s reported collaborative album with Kendrick Lamar may still surface as it is thought to be a joint project.
Back in April, Drake brought Cole out on stage during one of his London shows and promised that the two would collaborate in the near future.