To help promote his album Born Sinner, J. Cole participated in an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit, a website known for its extensive online community sharing system.
Among the questions Cole was ask during the AMA was why he chose to compete with Kanye West by releasing an album the same date as him.
“Just followed my instincts,” he explained. “I was confident in the album I had. Didn’t know what he had, but didn’t care. Wanted to start the conversation. I’ve had a #1 album before. It’s cool. But I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself wondering ‘what if I would have moved my date?'”
Another topic addressed was how Cole ended up in Dave Chappelle’s 2005 documentary, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Cole can be seen in the audience of the concert in several scenes.
“Long story short (aka this is gonna be long) I heard about this secret Dave Chapelle concert, you had to register and sign up online to go,” recalled Cole. “The Roots, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mos Def, Kweli, Kanye, Dead Prez. They sent me confirmation back and it was on. Took my homeboy and roomate with me. [sic] BUT. Woke up that morning at 6 am to leave, and it was POURING. Some Hurricane level shit. We looked at each other like, ‘damn dawg, we really gonna do this?’ Said fuck it and got dressed. Had to walk to the bus stop in the rain, then wait on the bus in the rain. Now we’re Soaked. Hopped off the bus, hopped on the train. Took the train to the bottom of Manhattan to the secret “Meet Up” point. Some random Grocery store by the Water. We were the first ones there. People showed up over the next couple of hours. Then finally, they put us all on these yellow school buses to take us to the real secret concert location. A random block in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.”
Cole remembered the show fondly, as well as the reactions he got following the documentary’s airing. “Best show I ever been to in my life. Fugees reunited on stage, Lauryn Hill was incredible. Plus the line up was crazy. I was just a fan of this shit. still am Then you could see me on the movie, everybody was hitting me from back home like ‘YOOO HOW THE FUCK YOU GET IN THIS MOVIE?? I’M IN THE THEATRE NOW I SWEAR I JUST SEEN YOU'”
The AMA is available in its entirety here.