J. Cole’s sophomore album Born Sinner couldn’t tackle Kanye West’s Yeezus for the top Billboard spot the week after both albums hit retail, but if this week’s projects are on point, Cole could still earn himself another #1 album when next week’s albums chart is cemented. Who knows, maybe all of those extra sales will come from his fans in Philadelphia.
On Thursday, Cole absolutely thrilled concertgoers at the Philly 4th of July Jam in the City of Brotherly Love. Kevin Hart hosted the day-long music celebration, broadcast live online by VH1.com while hip-hop band the Roots backed stars like Hunter Hayes, Jill Scott, Grace Potter, Ne-Yo and John Mayer.
Dressed in a Toldeo Mud Hens Triple-A baseball jersey and camo shorts, the Roc Nation MC took the stage shortly after the sun set. Setting things off with his chart-busting 2011 single “Work Out,” Cole warned fans that he didn’t have much time onstage, but would make the most of his three-song set. By the close of the track, the Fayetteville, North Carolina, lyricist inspired a sing-a-long in the crowd. “Straight up now tell me do you really wanna love me forever,” they sang echoing the popular Paula Abdul-jacked melody.
When the band came down, Cole pulled a stool out to the stage and sat down to intro his next song. He began talking about images on television and twisted beauty standards. “They always try to remind me that my eyebrows is real thick and my smile ain’t perfect,” Cole said, pointing out what others may view as his own imperfections before he launched into “Crooked Smile.”
To end it all, Cole gave the crowd an energetic rendition of his Born Sinner single “Power Trip,” the track that propelled the album to move more than 380,000 copies in its first three weeks of release. Though he failed to best Kanye in their debut week, during week 2, Cole moved an impressive 84,000 units and earned himself the #2 sales spot, behind Wale’s The Gifted, while sales for Yeezus dropped off 80 percent at the #3 position. If Billboard’s latest projections are correct and Cole sells around 60,000 copies in the week ending July 7, he could very well end up with the #1 album in the country. We wonder how many of the sales will come from Philly.