Just days after the successful release of his third studio album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole granted NPR the first interview since the project made its debut on the scene (not counting the leak). The North Carolina native broke down the extensive development process behind the album, how 2014 Forest Hills Drive was originally a double album, and much more. Cole also revealed his good friend and fellow rapper, Kendrick Lamar is and will play a major role in ending gang violence.

"But I was telling him, if it's anybody that can do it, it's him," said Cole. "You know what I mean? Because he's from Compton. He's from there. He has the power. And I think that goes to the point of, like — we in a time right now where people looking to celebrities for — to be that voice."

A casual conversation on a plane turned into an ill in-depth discussion on the struggles of Black America, solutions to gang violence, and the discouraging reality of today's hip-hop music. Cole and KDot were making their way back from Australia when they got caught up. The "Be Free" rapper also believes the Compton native has the power to unite a generation of people, in hopes of ending black-on-black crime, specifically gang violence.

"So, to get back to the point, when I saw the "i" artwork I got excited. Because just that little message is so strong. And I feel like Kendrick got the voice and he can do it. He can be the one to wake 'em up and be like, "Yo, man. This s—- stop. This s—-, we gotta stop this." Cause they respect him. People respect artists and poets. And he has the credibility cause he's from there. He ain't banging, but they know: 'You represent us. You are us.'"

J.Cole also spoke to Angie Martinez about his  "Be Free" on the Late Show with David Letterman,  the meaning behind "Fire Squad."