Whoever thought an aspiring rapper from the Ville would get a deal? Back then all J. Cole had was just a dollar and a dream, now he’s signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. His breakout mixtape, The Warm Up put him on the map and proved that Jay-Z signed the right artist. All of J. Cole’s hard work paid off, because his debut album, entitled Cole World: The Sideline Story, bowed atop of the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 218,000 copies in the first week. YRB magazine caught up with this college graduated for an exclusive interview. In the cover story, J. Cole talked about success, his spot in Hip-Hop, Jay-Z and much more. Below are some excerpts:
On numbers and success.
“I didn’t have a clear definition of success. I didn’t have a clear-cut sales number,” explains the 26-year-old of his trepidation. “Like, ‘If I do this number, then I’ll be successful.’ Because it was so vague, the success was so vague. I wasn’t sure if it would sell and how well it would sell, you know what I’m saying?”
On if he feel like he’s where he should be at in the game.
“I feel like I am officially in the game, but I also feel like I’m not where I want to be. I’m far from it. I got a lot more things to do. I got a lot more respect to get,” he says. “Kanye [West] and Jay-Z are doing arenas. I got a long way to go before I can do an arena. I want to perform in an arena or stadium one day, depending on how big this thing gets. An arena? That’s 20,000 people coming to see you. To do a tour of arenas and then headlining that? That’s incredible. So I’ve got a long way to go. I know I got a long way to go.”
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