J. Cole Says ‘Anybody Can Win’ Best New Artist Grammy

'Just to be nominated and have the chance to have one is incredible,' he tells MTV News.

As confident as J. Cole sounds in his music, he’s not so sure if he’ll take home the Best New Artist trophy at Sunday’s Grammys.

When the rapper and Jay-Z protégé sat down with MTV News on Friday (February 10), he said he’s excited about the Grammy nod but won’t really understand the weight of the honor until Sunday night.

“The way I work, I’m day-by-day. I’ll really be excited … the day of,” he said. “Once I put on that suit, it changes everything.”

The rapper said he was in Amsterdam on the European leg of his tour when he learned he was nominated for the award. He’ll be going up against the Band Perry, Bon Iver, Nicki Minaj and Skrillex. Cole said he woke up to the news at 4 in the morning when a friend banged on his hotel door.

“I couldn’t believe it. My whole tone changed. I went from mad angry to, like, a little kid. Like, ‘Yo, are you serious?’ It was a dope moment. We got a couple of my other friends up. Woke everybody up, just chilled in the room, talked about it and went through the whole journey,” he said. “It was cool. It was good. A nice moment.”

If he doesn’t walk away with the win this year, Cole said he’ll just work harder to get another nomination next year.

“The Grammy stamp is a validation on an artist. To win it would be even crazier. But the nomination is dope. Everybody wants a Grammy. Just to be nominated and have the chance to have one is incredible,” he said. “This is not something I plan on doing one time. Even if I don’t win, I plan on being back next year. I think it can go either way.”

The one thing he won’t do? Write a speech.

“As confident as I sound, I really don’t think I’m going to win. It’s cool. It’s all good,” he said. “Anybody can win it.”

Chaos! Profanity! Wardrobe malfunctions! Don’t miss our Grammy red-carpet live stream this Sunday, February 12, for a full three hours of mayhem, starting at 5 p.m. ET on MTV.com. And the fun doesn’t end Sunday: MTV News has you covered for all the Grammy red-carpet fashion, Grammy winners and Grammy news until the hangover wears off!