J. Cole’s Manager Talks Controversy Surrounding Bryson Tiller And ‘Deja Vu’ Beat
There’s no doubt that J. Cole is flying high these days, considering his 4 Your Eyez Only album hit the No.1 spot on the Billboard 200 charts and every single song on the project has cracked the Hot 100.
There’s one song, however, that’s come with a little bit of controversy. It’s ‘Deja Vu,’ because Bryson Tiller used the same beat for his 2015 single “Exchange.”
The producers of Cole’s track, Vinylz and Boi-1da, said that Foreign Tech, who produced ‘Exchange,’ stole the beat. Tech countered that he just used the same sample in the song, which is K.P. and Envyi’s 1998 tune ‘Swing My Way.’
In an interview with Billboard, Cole’s manager Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad said that ‘De Ja Vu’ was actually made for the rapper’s last album 2014 Forest Hills Drive, but everyone thought it would fit on the new project better.
He also said that even though Tiller put out ‘Exchange’ first it didn’t change Cole’s plans at all.
“I wouldn’t say there was any hesitation, because I felt like it’s just two totally different songs,” said Hamad. “Cole had already made the song, so when Bryson’s album came out, and we heard it, it was like ‘Damn, he used the same sample,’ but to Cole it don’t matter. He’s not competing with Bryson.”
Hamad also addressed why ‘Everybody Dies’ and the Kanye-criticizing ‘False Prophets’ — which were in the 4 Your Eyez Only promotional documentary Eyez — weren’t on the album.
“At the last second, we kind of were like, ‘Look, if we’re trying to tell a story, let’s just make it as clear as possible and cut it down to that.’ So when we cut out ‘False Prophets’ and ‘Everybody Dies,’” he says. “It really hurt because ‘False Prophets’ was on the album the whole time and it was one of our favorites but we had the documentary piece already in the works.”