Back in April 12, 2011, Kendrick Lamar released his debut single HiiiPoWeR, which was off his debut studio album Section.80, which released three months later on July 2, 2011. As seen in the liner notes and on the Top Dawg soundcloud upload, HiiiPoWeR was produced by J. Cole.
“His production is crazy, man. The first time we locked in, he played about 10 beats. I wanted 11 of ‘em,” Kendrick Lamar told HipHopDX in 2011.
Kendrick Lamar also explained the meaning behind HiiiPoWeR: “HiiiPoWeR: the three i’s represent heart, honor and respect. That’s how we carry ourselves in the streets, and just in the world, period. Hiiipower, it basically is the simplest form of representing just being above all the madness, all the bullshit. No matter what the world is going through, you’re always going to keep your dignity and carry yourself with this manner that it don’t phase you. Whatever you think negative is in your life. Overcoming that and still having that self-respect.”
The song was uploaded to Top Dawg’s soundcloud on April 12, 2011.
The following year, J. Cole co-produced DJ Khaled’s “They Ready” ft. himself, Big K.R.I.T. & Kendrick Lamar. J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar collaborated on Forbidden Fruit which was on J. Cole’s album Born Sinner.