Signing a deal with Roc Nation was a major turning point in J. Cole's career (refer to the "Interlude" on Sideline Story to share his joy), but since then, the North Carolina rapper has made it clear that he's not looking for Jay-Z to be shouting his name from the rooftops. Instead, he turns to Hov for musical advice, but only when the time is right.
With his sophomore album, Born Sinner, set to drop in June, Cole says he's connected with his boss to sort out the important details. "I've spoken to him a few times about the album and since I'm close to being done I'm going to play him the album [now]," Cole told MTV News when he visited our studios earlier this week, adding that he's finally learned when to reach out during the recording process.
"Now I know when I need to go to him for advice on key things," he said. "Even [with] 'Power Trip,' I spoke to him about that. There was a point when I almost went with this other song as the [first] single. My team and people around me were like, 'Yo, you're bugging; you need to go with 'Power Trip.' So I called Mark Pitts, my manager, and he's like, 'You need to call Jay.' "
Although Cole dropped "Miss America" back in November, "Power Trip" was billed as the first official album single this year, and the decision had to be right. "His perspective on that — and period, since he's seen so much in the game — he really set me straight and let me know I was bugging," Cole said. "He was like, 'You've got to an opportunity to come in and usher a new sound, go with that!' "
"Power Trip" has been a hit with fans, and the new video featuring Miguel added another dimension to the story. Continuing the tale that he began on the 2009 track "Dreams," Cole concocts a plot to murder the boyfriend of the girl he's crushing on...and the boyfriend just so happened to be Miguel, who was completely on board with the sinister plot.
Born Sinner is due on June 25.