Fit matters, even in the J. Cole debate.

Business owners are constantly in search of talent, hoping to make hires and exceed their bottom-lines. While some put a premium on technical proficiency, many employers are learning that compatibility as it applies to skill-matching counts for as much or more of an employee’s success. A focus on compatibility in hiring and outsourcing decisions can help increase client satisfaction and ease market conversion. A case in point is North Carolinian Hip-Hop artist, J. Cole.

Should J. Cole rap to his own instrumentation?

It’s a common debate among Hip-Hop enthusiasts. I’m from the school that proposes he rap not on his on tracks, but instead outsource production to a fellow producer. From an ownership perspective, it would be in Cole’s best interest to rap on his own instrumentation (think: his name is all over the credits); and I get it. But if Cole wants better results or to simply reach more people, he needs to reconsider his conversion strategy to meet the needs of his fan base. To put it straight, he needs to outsource his beat production.

J. Cole is talented and his art speaks for itself. But if Cole were to outsource his production to [insert producer names and run test], he’d convert the market in his favor and perhaps his shift position from Nas-like to Jay-like; or his position from niche leader to culture icon. Maybe that’s not what he’s going for. Regardless, there is a correlation between his sales and his production. Take a quick look at debut sales weeks in 2015. With the exception of Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” [credit list], no artist on this list sounds like Cole. They also don’t produce their own music like Cole[2014 Forest Hills Drive credit list].

Now don’t get me wrong — while he is a skilled producer — it doesn’t mean he is at his best when rapping on his own instrumentation (a listen to a Cole feature and you’d see what I’m saying. He crushes).

Companies that value compatibility win.

Compatibility is a primary factor in hiring decisions. We should value “fit” because it will increase employee and client satisfaction, open doors to new business and gives us the capital they need to grow. If you want to take your organization to the next level — whether you’re a musician or a school operator — focus on fit. Your results depend on it.

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