J. Cole Moves Up Born Sinner to Compete With Kanye West

"Power Trip" rapper is ready to take on 'Ye.

Posted: 05/22/2013 10:08 AM EDT
Kanye West, J. Cole

When it comes to Kanye West, J. Cole is looking to compete. 50 Cent famously battled Yeezy, and now the Roc Nation rapper is taking his chances, explaining why his sophomore album, Born Sinner, has been moved up.

Originally slated for a summer debut, Born Sinner will now drop June 18, the same day as West's Yeezus release. Using two totally different marketing tactics (Cole turns to the 'Net to promote new music, while West recently unveiled his "New Slaves" track with a grandiose 66-city rollout featuring projections of his face on the side of buildings across the globe), the G.O.O.D. Music boss clearly has a financial advantage over Cole.

Nonetheless, the idea of going up against Chicago's finest is a challenge he's is up for. "I worked too hard to come a week later after Kanye West drops an amazing album," the "Power Trip" rapper told Billboard.

No matter the anticipation behind the 28-year-old's sophomore effort, in his mind, anything after Mr. West pales in comparison. "It'd be like, 'Oh and J. Cole dropped too, a week later.' Nah. I'm going to see him on that date. He's the greatest. So it's like, I'm a competitor by nature so it was instant, it wasn't even a thought."

In a move that's more out of respect than rivalry, Cole tweeted an additional statement. "Kanye West is one of the greatest artists of our generation. Which is exactly why I'm moving my release date up."

Unlike the obviously orchestrated marketing scheme with 50, West has not yet responded to Cole. With both of their last albums debuting atop the charts, the final sales figures could potentially go either way, but will likely fall in Yeezy's favor. His My Beatiful Dark Twisted Fantasy sold 496,000 copies in its first week, compared to Cole World: The Sideline Story, which pushed a respectable 218,000 units in seven days.

With less than a month before both projects invade the music world, a clear victor won't be known for weeks, but props to Cole for having the guts to face a hip hop behemoth like West.

 

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