J. Cole is confident — confident about his rapping ability, about his production prowess and, most of all, about his upcoming sophomore work Born Sinner . Why else would he move his album release date up a week to meet Kanye West’s Yeezus June 18 drop ?
“I worked too hard to come a week later after Kanye West drops an amazing album,” Cole told Billboard.com on Tuesday. “It’d be like, ’Oh and J.Cole dropped too, a week later.’ Nah. I’m going to go see him on that date. He’s the greatest. So it’s like, I’m a competitor by nature so it was instant, it wasn’t even a thought.”
Before the change, the Roc Nation lyricist and beat banger was slated to drop on June 25 — the same day that his buddy Wale will release The Gifted — but Cole couldn’t ignore the stir that Kanye caused with his “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” records this weekend.
“Let’s not forget this is Kanye West. He [bats] 100, 1,000, whatever the perfect is. His track record is flawless,” J praised. “I’m only expecting an incredible album from him.”
It is all very reminiscent of September 11, 2007, when West and 50 Cent pitted their respective Graduation and Curtis albums against each other in a much-hyped sales battle . When the first-week tallies were complete, ’Ye had moved 957,000 copies of his album, while Fif came in second place selling 691,000 units. Back then Kanye and 50’s sales battle was painted as a bit of a beef, but Cole’s challenge seems far less venomous — after all, they have a mutual friend in Jay-Z.
But none of that has put a single dent in J. Cole’s bravado. “It’s a definite statement about how I feel about my album, which is confident,” he said.