J. Cole’s sophomore album, Born Sinner, was facing tough competition from Kanye West’s Yeezus when it was released on June 18.
But the album earned the North Carolina rapper the #2 spot on the Billboard charts with 296,000 copies sold in its first week — up from 217,000 for Cole World: The Sideline Story, which was released in 2011. Born Sinner is expected to sell another 95,000 copies in its second weekend.
On the red carpet for the 2013 BET Awards Sunday, the 28-year-old told MTV News, “That’s the people speaking. I’m happy, I’m grateful, dawg; I’m blessed. The second-week numbers are fantastic too.”
It was a calculated move for Cole, who was the first artist to sign to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Although the album was originally scheduled for June 25, the Fayetteville native admitted that he moved the release date to compete with Yeezus.
” … I worked too hard to come a week later after Kanye West drops an amazing album. It’d be like, ‘Oh and J.Cole dropped too, a week later.’ Nah. I’m going to go see him on that date,” J. Cole said. “He’s the greatest. So it’s like, I’m a competitor by nature so it was instant, it wasn’t even a thought.”
J. Cole even mentions the fact that he’s going to release his album the same day as West in his song “Forbidden Fruit”:
Speaking of legends, another rapper influenced not one, but two, of J. Cole’s songs. “Let Nas Down” finds Cole rapping about how it felt when he was told Nas “hated” his 2011 single, “Workout”:
Dion called me when it dropped, sounded sad but sincere
Told me Nas heard your single and he hate that sh*t
Said you the one, yo why you make that sh*t?
I can’t believe I let Nas down
Damn, my heart sunk to my stomach, I can’t believe I let Nas down
After Born Sinner hit shelves, Nas gave his opinion again, causing J. Cole to remix the track as “Made Nas Proud.”
What do you think of J. Cole’s comments about Born Sinner?