Rap-Up TV: J. Cole Talks Rihanna Tour, Clearing Kanye, & Love for Paula Abdul

J. Cole is heating up the country as the opening act on Rihanna’s “LOUD” tour. Rap-Up TV caught up with the Roc Nation rapper on his tour bus after performing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday (June 28). He explained what it’s like to play arena shows with the pop star.

“Your goal is that by the end of your performance, you want to have won over the people that are watching you. I feel like I’m doing a good job so far,” said the 26-year-old. “It’s way, way different from doing the hip-hop clubs and venues that we’re used to.”

In Part 1 of our interview, he also shared the hoops he had to jump through to clear the Kanye West (“New Workout Plan”) and Paula Abdul (“Straight Up”) samples on “Work Out,” the lead single from his debut Cole World: The Sideline Story. “When I was a young kid, that’s a song I remember coming up,” he said of Abdul’s “Straight Up.” “I remember being in love with Paula Abdul when I seen her on the TV and on the ‘Opposites Attract’ video.”

And if you were surprised to hear Cole sing the ’80s hit, wait till you hear who could be next.