J. Cole released his Born Sinner album today (June 18), the same day Kanye West dropped his Yeezus LP. Both artists are affiliated with Jay-Z, but J. Cole says that Jay-Z wasn’t behind the two rappers releasing material on the same day.

“He just respected it,” J. Cole says during an interview with DJ Drama. “He thought it was like courageous. He thought it was a brave move. That was it. He wasn’t pitting me against him like, ‘Yeah, let me get my two artists [to release albums on the same day].’ Nah. He was just like, ‘Yo. That’s brave. You can’t lose,’ is what he was saying. Nobody even expects me to really win that day, in terms of sales, and that’s not really what it was about to begin with. It was about putting my name in the hat in terms of the music. You might have to make a decision. You might love both. You might love his. You might hate my album, but you’re not going to. But it’s forcing you to make a decision on which album [you’re going to prefer]. I’m just putting my name in the hat. That’s it.”

DJ Drama x J. Cole from Sil ‘Spike Jordan’ Beyah on Vimeo.

Last month, J. Cole said that he wanted to wanted to compete with West, which is why he moved the release date of Born Sinner to June 18. It was originally slated for a June 25 release. 

During his DJ Drama interview, J. Cole also discussed the motivation behind his “Dollar & A Dream Tour,” a 10-city outing that features him charging $1 for concert tickets. The jaunt’s next stop is scheduled for June 20 in Washington, D.C. “I want to go perform just the classic joints,” J. Cole says. “I didn’t want to have to worry about doing the singles. [But] I do ‘Power Trip,’ definitely.”

Despite the buzz surrounding Born Sinner, J. Cole says that getting a sponsor for the tour wasn’t easy. “We actually did reach out to mad brands at first,” he says. “People don’t want to spend that money, so D’USSE did.” D’USSE is a cognac. 

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