J Cole Is Ready for a Kanye Showdown

J Cole
© Kareem Black/Red Bulletin

J Cole talks about 'Born Sinner,' Kanye West and Grammy awards.

Kanye West, a.k.a. Steve of Internet, J Cole and Mac Miller are all dropping new full-length albums today, the biggest album release date of the year.

Of course, Kanye and his 'Yeezus' album will win the day -- not to mention the promotional push, with events happening all over the world at seemingly the same time. But J Cole, nonetheless, knew what he was facing when he moved -- intentionally! -- the release date for 'Born Sinner,' only his second studio effort, from June 25 to June 18.

"I feel like Kanye should definitely have a Grammy for album of the year," Cole says in an interview in the July issue of The Red Bulletin. "Absolutely. The fact that you haven’t given him his means you’re fucking me up now, because if I drop the album of the year on the same day as him, you’re going to give him his shit as a make-up because he’s overdue."

He adds, “The Grammys — really the whole music-critic culture in general — I feel like they overlook hip-hop. They don’t give it its proper respect as a true art form. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a lot of true artists."

Kanye emerges again when Cole speaks in the interview about making the beat for 'Power Trip,' the first single off of 'Born Sinner,' and growing into a hip-hop double threat (producer and rapper).

Lupe Fiasco never has to have another hit in his life and he has fans that love him. He can go perform Food & Liquor for the rest of his days and he will have a career.

“I feel like it’s the opposite of what Kanye went through," Cole says. "He was already established as one of the game’s best producers but had to gain respect as a rapper. I wasn’t even getting the awareness of being a producer. I feel like I had to start letting people know because that’s another thing that I’m incredibly competitive about — almost equal to rap.”

Other topics covered in the feature:

Failures of 'Cole World': "When I dropped [2011 debut 'Cole World: The Sideline Story'], it was successful, but it didn’t do what I wanted it to do critically for a lot of reasons. Even as I was celebrating this commercial success that shocked everybody, I knew right away it didn’t do what I wanted it to do: Have everybody praise it as a hands-down classic. I didn’t get that with the album like I got with [2010 mixtape] 'Friday Night Lights' and it fucked me up. I wondered, did I fuck this up?"

The possibility he never has another hit: "When I’m not thinking negatively and I have a more rational mind-set, I know that even if I don’t have another hit, I have a fan base. Lupe Fiasco never has to have another hit in his life and he has fans that love him. He can go perform 'Food & Liquor' for the rest of his days and he will have a career. I have to remind myself, 'No matter what, you’ll have a career.'"

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