NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rapper J Cole were featured on the cover of ESPN the Magazine this month for their special music issue.
The two North Carolina natives connection started when Dale Jr. told a reporter he was listening to Cole’s song Power Trip.
Cole heard Dale mention his song in an interview and decided to include him in his thank yous. “There was an interview Dale Jr. did that asked him what he plays before races, and he said ‘J. Cole ‘Power Trip,” which freaked me out! What is Dale Earnhardt Jr. doing playing my shit? How did he even find out about it?” said Cole.
“You don’t think somebody on that level would ever hear your stuff. From there, I never forgot. I was always like, ‘Yo, I ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’ So when I was picking a name, I chose his. And it worked out crazy. Everywhere I go now—the airport, the store—people say, ‘Yo, Cole, I love that album, bro, it’s a classic!’ And Dale Earnhardt Jr., it’s the first thing they bring up! It’s already a thing in hip-hop, already an inside joke that’s going to live forever.”
In the album credits for his recently released 2014 Forest Hills Drive, Cole shouted out Dale Jr.
What a dope cover. North Carolina STAND UP!