J. Cole: It's A Cole, Cole World
Yo! How’s it going? My name's J. Cole and welcome to my new column for MTV’s The Wrap Up. I’m super happy to be able to talk to all of my UK fans and keep you guys updated with what I’m up to. I’m a huge fan of the UK and I got so much love when I came over last time. I appreciate the support and can’t wait to come and see you guys and spend quite a bit of time out there...
I’m gonna be doing the Tinie Tempah tour for a little bit before I break out and do my own shows, so we’ve got a long time to see each other. I haven’t really had much time to sit down, enjoy the English cuisine and be super English, but next time I come down, I definitely need to try something.
As you can imagine, this month has been super busy. I started the tour at the end of August, which has taken me around the world. It started in Canada, where I was for two weeks, now we’re in the States, and then we’re heading to the UK and Europe in about 6 weeks, so I've just been on a bus for most of the time.
What usually happens is I’ll wake up off of the bus and do a bunch of interviews, then go to a radio station and do interviews there. Then I’ll go and do a meet and greet before going to a listening session at places like the record stores, where I go and see fans and play them my album. Then I come back to the bus, get ready for the show, do the show, do the after-party and then go to bed. Then the next day, I do it all over again. Crazy, right?
I messed my ankle up playing basketball about a week and a half ago, too. It’s affected me a lot and, right now, it’s hurting quite a bit and I’ve got to perform on it every night. I’ve got to wear this big cast and I'm on crutches when I walk. It makes stuff a lot harder, especially around the time when the album is about to come out and I'm doing so much promo.
Anyway, I hope you all liked the 'Any Given Sunday' stuff. It was just a thing where I wanted to give something to the fans, because I could never do anything without you. I didn’t want to do another mixtape, because I knew it wouldn’t be as good as ‘Friday Night Lights’. I wasn’t trying to outdo that, so I just decided to just release some songs on a weekly basis.
I’m feeling incredible about the album. I'm super proud of it. It’s not actually what I thought it would turn out to be. Initially, I was going to drop a 20-track album, but it’s actually worked out a lot better how it is, with the likes of Jay-Z and others who helped to sequence the album. We chopped a lot of stuff out and now it’s really a complete body of work that flows from song to song, back to back. It’s a great balance of J. Cole, I think, and hopefully you guys will agree.
Working with people like Jay-Z and Missy Elliott on 'Nobody’s Perfect' feels pretty nuts. I’ve not got many features, but the features that I’ve got are super potent. It feels real good and even now when I look at the line-up, it’s still like wow. Iv'e got people like Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Trey Songz and Drake on ther - it’s kinda unbelievable. As for the leak, it was cool, it’s all good, but I just hope the real fans show up at the end of the day and support. At the end of the day, this stuff happens. I'm no different from any other artist.
Outside of the music, I’ve not really been up to much; just promoting the album. I tried to play ball, and then I sprained my ankle. I’m just in a hectic period right now and at a point where every day, I’ve got promo stuff to do. I haven’t really got time to chill. The time that I get is pretty s***, waiting around before or after the show. I’m hoping that after the album drops, maybe I’ll get some time, but I'm definitely still in promo mode for now. You’ve got to suck it up and, at this time in my career, I’ve just got to realise that I’m probably not going to get much time to chill anyway.
I just want the album to be well-received. Based on the leak, the response has been incredible and I want the fans to enjoy it, as well as bringing in new fans. I remember when I had no fans and nobody was checking me, so I’ll never forget those days. If I've got people supporting me, it’s a beautiful thing. Commercially, I obviously want to sell a lot of records so that the label is happy. I’ve got a lot of goals for it, but I just hope it’s appreciated and critically acclaimed by the masses.
So until next time, go and cop the album – which is out in stores now – and I’ll speak to y’all next month.
J. Cole was speaking to Errol Anderson (@Elzan1)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)