In a week's time, J. Cole jumped from hip-hop's bench to the starting lineup when he released his debut Cole World: The Sideline Story, and now Billboard is reporting that the Roc Nation MC is poised to have the #1 record on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week. Early estimations have Cole pushing as many as 250,000 copies in his first week, and the Jay-Z protégé has taken to Twitter to express his appreciation.
Melodic singles like "Work Out" and "Can't Get Enough," with Trey Songz, for sure put Cole in the consciousness of casual rap fans, but it seems that much of the North Carolina lyricist's appeal is in his introspective album cuts. "Dollar and a Dream III," "Sideline Story" and the cautionary "Lost Ones" provide lyrical depth to Cole's debut opus.
Regardless of which individual songs fans prefer, it is clear that the album is an overall hit. For Cole, actually getting the album in stores after a series of delays since he was signed in 2009 is an accomplishment in itself. "Even talking about it right now, I'm getting a little emotional because I can remember going to get so many albums and just the fact that mines is one of those," Cole told MTV2's Sucker Free about his album release. "To me, that'll be the real incredible feeling, like all the things I've been through will finally be worth it because we made it to that."