J. Cole Performs Biggie’s “Hypnotize” at Shaun White’s Air and Style Festival
Extreme sports poster child and all-around cool dude Shaun White threw his second annual Air + Style festival in Los Angeles over the weekend and featured a number of hip-hop acts, including J. Cole who headlined the main stage during Saturday's (Feb. 20) Day 1 schedule. In a video from Cole's set posted the next day, the North Carolina rapper engages the audience in a bit of call-and-response competition as his 2010 song "Who Dat" plays in the background.
The crowd participation is commonplace for most Cole shows, as the rapper explains at the video's start, but about 48 seconds in, the beat drops and The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" kicks in. Cole dances to the instrumental a bit before reigniting the "Who Dat" chants and eventually getting into Biggie's sicker than average flow. Now, while Biggie is of course Brooklyn-born, and J. Cole reps North Carolina, the song does have LA ties, as the "Hypnotize" video was shot in the central Cali city.
Other hip-hop performances at the Air + Style festival came from A$AP Ferg, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Migos, Flatbush Zombies and Big Grams. J. Cole has been open in the past about his rap influences, signing with Jay Z's Roc Nation and recording the song "Let Nas Down" years later. As for Biggie, Cole's second album, Born Sinner, borrows the phrase from a Biggie line in "Juicy" for its title. Watch Cole's performance of "Hypnotize" above, as he bridges the coasts for a special set moment.
See 40 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2016