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My Exclusive Interview With J. Cole: Jay-Z’s Protege Speaks On His Debut LP, 1st Time Meeting Jay-Z, Branding Himself, Mixtapes & More

This Fall Jay-Z’s protégé and Roc Nation rapper J. Cole will be releasing his highly anticipated debut album, entitled Cold World: The Sideline Story. A day after performing on the first date of his “Cold World” tour in Vancouver, I phoned Cole for a quick conversation. During the interview, Cole shared some of his wildest tour moments, discussed his first time meeting Jay-Z, branding himself, the importance of mixtapes and his debut album. The disc has collaborations with Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Drake and Trey Songz.

I know you’re on a world tour, on Tuesday (July 23), you performed the opening night in Vancouver. How was it there?

It was great; the fans was standing up screaming and rapping the lyrics to my songs.

I read on your Twitter page that a female in the front row stole the cell phone out of your pockets. How did that happen?

I was performing and got a little too close to the crowd and she grabbed my pockets and took my phone. I got it back the same night; right after the concert.

Was that your crazier experiences while on the road?

Yeah, that was.

On September 27, you will be releasing your official album Cold World: The Sideline Story; what can the fans expect from the album?

They can expect a high level of music from the productions, to the stories, to the concept. I feel like rap is in a comfortable space right now. Everybody is rapping about the same things, in the same way with the same flow and the same beat. That’s cool but I wanted to come with something different and shake up the game.

Who are some of the artists and producers you worked with on the album?

I worked with Jay-Z, Trey Songz, Drake, Missy Elliott, No I.D. and a few others.

How does it feel to be the first artist signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation?

It feels great; it’s definitely a blessing and an honor. I signed two and a half years ago. The honeymoon is over. It’s about putting this album out, and getting to a place where I want to be in this game which is the very top.

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NEXT PAGE: THE REST OF MY INTERVIEW WITH J.COLE

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