Everyone know that J.Coles forth solo album 4 Your Eyez Only was undoubtedly a huge release — it released at No. 1 and the entire project tracklist was in the Hot 100. However, the album came with controversy as a record that Boi-1da- and Vinylz-produced entitled “Déjà Vu” sounding much like Bryson Tiller’s “Exchange.” Vinylz then accused “Exchange” producer Foreign Teck of stealing the beat, but Foreign Teck has denied these claims. Both songs sample K.P. and Envyi’s 1998 track “Swing My Way.”
Now Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad who is J.Coles producer and the manager of Dreamville, he explained why they decided to include the record despite its similarities to Bryson Tiller’s “Exchange.”
“I wouldn’t say there was any hesitation because I felt like it’s just two totally different songs. We had already made ‘Déjà Vu,’ like that song was literally made for his last album [2014 Forest Hills Drive] and we just knew it would fit better because of the story he wanted to tell on the album,” Hamad said. “Cole had already made the song, so when Bryson’s album came out and we heard it, it was a feeling like, ‘Damn, he used the same sample.’ But to Cole, it don’t matter. He’s not competing with Bryson. What Bryson’s song did was incredible, and to Cole, it was like, ‘It’s a part of the story I want to tell, so I’m gonna use [the beat].’ We didn’t really know the backstory at the time of what happened with Vinylz and Boi1da and [ForeignTeck] who made the beat. That was none of our concern.”
“The album was initially like 13, 14 songs and then just 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,’ it really hurt,” Hamad said. “[…] We really wanted [the songs] on the album and it was like we still wanted people to hear it but we didn’t want to put the music out because we knew it wasn’t a real representation of the album.”
You can check out the full interview on Billboard.