As far as rap debuts go, J. Cole’s Cole World: The Sideline Story is among the year’s most anticipated, especially since it’s being released on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Not that the pressure has gotten to him.
While J. Cole is surely aware of the inevitable pressures that come with dropping an album under the guidance of someone of Jay-Z’s stature, the North Carolina rapper assured MTV News that there were no grand executive decisions made during the recording of his LP.
“All the songs on the album just happened naturally. There was never a ’Oh, we need this kind of song,’ ” Cole told us backstage during last week’s New Jersey stop on Rihanna’s Loud Tour . “Everything happened naturally and very organically.”
Not only is the LP organic, but the Fayetteville MC says it’s surprisingly musical.
“It wasn’t until I started playing it for people and I kept getting those responses like, ’Man, this is really musical,’ ” he said. “To me, that’s regular; that’s what you should do on an album. I try to do that as much as possible, even on my mixtapes. So on the album, of course, I took it to the next level.”
Without giving too much away, the rapper/producer promises a conceptual ride for Cole World. “Concepts-wise, the amount of concepts that are on the album is pretty remarkable, and that balanced with the fun songs,” he revealed. “It’s not a depressing [album], even though it could’ve went that way. I have enough songs where I could’ve just made it straight tearjerker.”
The LP is slated for a September 27 release, but the rapper has been careful about doling out the details. He has a Jay-Z collaboration in the works, and even though he’s still waiting for Hov to lay his verse, Cole is confident.
“I made it in my crib and I was like, ’Man, I’m gonna throw something out today, or tomorrow whatever, let me do a song.’ Then I started making it, and as soon as I made it, I was like, ’Oh nah, na,’ ” he said of how he came up with the song’s instrumental. “I had already wrote the verses and I realized, ’Man, this is for Jay.’ I finally made a song that was perfect for Jay.”
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