J. Cole is making a big deal about releasing his sophomore album “Born Sinner” on June 18, the same day that hip hop superstar Kanye West - Kim Kardashian’s baby daddy - drops his controversial “Yeezus.”
The Roc Nation artist addressed the topic a few times during his hour-long performance for iHeart Radio Tuesday in New York for an event live streamed on Yahoo! Music.
“Buy one Kanye West and 2 J. Coles,” he said with a laugh at about 40 minutes into his concert.
After performing his new song “Crooked Smile,” a radio-friendly ballad about self-esteem with an infectious chorus from TLC, he alluded that he had been discouraged from competing with one of the biggest names in pop music.
He said some suggested that he was “trying to make the impossible possible.” He added, “They didn’t believe in me. … They saying it’s [career] suicide, but as soon as I dropped [‘Crooked Smile’] they like, ‘Maybe not.’”
Fans immediately embraced the song. Many concertgoers already knew the lyrics to the song released earlier this week.
Performing with a band gave his music a consistent, cohesive sound that worked perfectly with his introspective, story telling. He played old and new staple songs from his catalog, “Work Out,” “Nobody’s Perfect,” “Can’t Get Enough” and “Blow Up.” The rock renditions of “Chris Tucker” and “Power Trip” were surprisingly good.