J. Cole is making a brave move. The Roc Nation rapper has decided to move up his album release to compete directly with Kanye West.
Cole’s sophomore album Born Sinner was originally due June 25, but will now arrive on June 18, the same day Kanye’s Yeezus is scheduled to hit stores.
Cole said the move was intentional. “Kanye West is one of the greatest artists of our generation. Which is exactly why I’m moving my release date up,” he told Billboard’s The Juice.
Once he saw Kanye’s tweet about the June 18 date, he knew what he had to do. “Instantly the lightbulb [turned on]… it got real. I made one phone call to somebody that would know, just to make sure first. As soon as I got it confirmed, I was like, ‘Yo…’ The idea hit me instantly: ‘You got to go to that date.'”
He looks forward to facing off with his idol on the charts. “I’m not going to sit [here]… 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. He’s the greatest. So it’s like, I’m a competitor by nature so it was instant, it wasn’t even a thought.”
The revised date is a testament to how he feels about his work. “It’s a definite statement about how I feel about my album, which is confident,” said Cole, whose debut Cole World: The Sideline Story debuted at No. 1 in October 2011, selling 218,000 copies in its first week.
Cole and Kanye won’t be the only artists dropping albums on June 18. Mac Miller’s Watching Movies With the Sound Off and Kelly Rowland’s Talk a Good Game are also slated for release that day.