J. Cole had fans intrigued when he announced “Let Nas Down” as one of the track titles on Born Sinner. With a little over a week to go until the June 18 release, he is explaining the meaning behind his favorite song on the album.
“That song is just special. It’s a venting song,” he told Fuse.
He had been trying to make a song for radio at the time and was excited when he finally came up with “Work Out,” but he was surprised by the reaction from the public. “It was the worst response I’ve ever gotten on any song I’ve ever put out. It was a terrible response,” he said, adding, “When I made that song, it was a triumph.”
He got a call from producer No I.D., who was in the studio with Nas and relayed his conversation. “I was in the studio with Nas and we was talking about you and he was like, ‘Yo, why did he do that? Why did he put out that song? Don’t he know he’s the one? He ain’t gotta do that.'”
Upon hearing his reaction, Cole got defensive and said some crazy things. “On the inside I was really hurt because I really idolized Nas,” he said.
But it all worked out in the end. “Eventually ‘Work Out’ became a monster record. It wouldn’t leave radio, it was a smash, and I’m grateful for that song. But at the time, it was hurtful. I really vented on that song.”