Jay-Z has spoken. The hip-hop tycoon has given his stamp of approval to J. Cole’s debut album, calling it a “classic.”
Jay’s protégé had the daunting task of playing the album for his Roc Nation boss. “When I played him the album, I could gauge his response not on what he said, but what his vibe was,” Cole exclusively tells Rap-Up.com. “I linked up with [Roc Nation executive] Rich Kleiman and he said he was with Jay-Z later that night. Out of nowhere, Jay said, ‘So Cole got a classic. That motherfucker.'”
As of last Friday, the album was 99 percent done. “I still have to finish up interludes, tweaking mixes, and features that I’m trying to make happen.”
One of those potential features is his mentor, though Cole isn’t stressing if schedules don’t permit half of The Throne to be on the album. “We’ll see. It’s very possible that he might not be on it. I feel like it’s dope as hell though,” he shares.
“The whole world knows that J. Cole is waiting on a Jay-Z verse, but if it don’t happen, it don’t happen. But how ill is it that the album is called The Sideline Story, which is a metaphor for me trying to get off the bench, and I’m waiting for the nod from the coach?”
After hearing Watch the Throne, the North Carolina MC was initially concerned about his own material, but it only inspired him more. “When I first heard the album, I was like, ‘Damn, they really gonna put this out seven weeks before my album?'” says Cole, who singled out “New Day” and “Gotta Have It” as his two standout tracks off Throne. “I got a little nervous, but it’s also motivation and pushes me further.”
Find out why Cole World: The Sideline Story is deserving of Jay-Z’s praise when it arrives on September 27, featuring the singles “Work Out” and “Can’t Get Enough” with Trey Songz.
–Reporting by Jason Newman