Jay-Z’s protégé J. Cole has bumped up the release of his sophomore album, Born Sinner, to June 18 — one week earlier than previously announced, a source close to the rapper tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“I wanted to come out earlier, but I kept hitting these creative zones where I couldn’t finish,” Cole said to THR in November. “’Cause I kept making more and more and more. It … was effortless, how I made this album.
The source adds that Cole moved Born Sinner’s release to compete with Kanye West’s next album, which is strongly rumored to be dropping on June 18, one month after he plays Saturday Night Live. Says the source: “J. has been working nonstop to put out his album a week earlier—living in the studio, bringing in full orchestras and a choir.”
In hip hop, bravado can yield big reward (just ask West). Still, Born Sinner’s first single, “Power Trip,” is presently sitting at just No. 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. (He also launched a video series leading up to Born Sinner’s release.)
But this shouldn’t rattle Cole. “Work Out,” the biggest single from his 2011 debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100, before the RIAA certified it double-platinum in 2012. And upon its release, The Sideline Story unexpectedly shot to No. 1 on Billboard’s albums chart, with little radio support. Cole was later nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist (which he lost to Bon Iver).
Though “Power Trip” features guest vocals from Miguel, most of Born Sinner is a true solo effort for the confident Cole. He produced that single, and is said to have produced most of the album.