Dreamville’s own J.Cole recently sat down and discussed his debut album Cole World (released 2011) and how he feels like it changed the rap game forever. In the interview with Billboard, Cole stated:
“It took me a while to see it, but my album changed the business model. It showed the world that a radio single is great, but it’s only a bonus when you already have a fan base and music that people will die for. It showed record execs, who’d been doing things in a very old-school way, that there’s a new way-and J. Cole just did it. Kendrick never had to do that Lady Gaga’Partynauseous’ song,” Cole says, referring to a duet that was reportedly pulled from Lamar’s album before release. “I’m sure Interscope was shoving that down his throat, like, ‘You got to work with Gaga.’ But he could say, ‘Yo, Cole did all those numbers with no singles, so we’re on the right track.’ Kendrick Lamar is making songs that are anthems for people’s lives, songs that change people’s lives, whether or not he had a radio single.” (Billboard Magazine)
He then went on to discuss the pressures of releasing a major label debut:
“I remember praying at the time, ‘Please, Lord, let me do 100 the first week,'” Cole recalls. “The label was predicting 60,0000-70,000. But when the charts came in, all these top execs were calling Mark Pitts, calling Jay-Z, like, ‘Yo, how the f*ck did you do it?’ I worked my fan base and put out free music and toured for two years, that’s how. Every album I sold wasn’t because of a hit song. The single didn’t do the work; my fan base did.” (“Work Out” later rose to a peak of No. 13 on the Hot 100 on Jan. 8, 2012, helping the album sell 684,000 units to date.) (Billboard Magazine)
J.Cole’s Sophomore Album, “Born Sinner”, hits shelves June 18.
Check Out J.Cole's surprise SummerJam performance with Miguel: