Now that TLC members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas have lent their assistance on J. Cole’s Born Sinner album, the North Carolina rapper is planning to return the favor on the group’s upcoming project.
While speaking with Billboard.com backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival over the weekend, Cole touched on his “Crooked Smile” collab with TLC and expressed his excitement at the possibility of working with the pair on their next album.
“I was such a fan of theirs growing up,” said Cole, who brought TLC out to perform “Crooked Smile” at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this weekend. “I still am. It’s like when I made ‘Crooked Smile,’ I instantly thought of them because not only did I miss their voice, but they had these huge positive records, like ‘Unpretty’ and ‘Waterfalls.’ And I was just like, ‘Man, it makes too much sense. I gotta have them on a song like ‘Crooked Smile.’’
“I got some production on the album that they doing,” Cole continued. “What we really planning on doing is to really go in and lock in. Cause as a producer I know what I can give them. I know what I can bring them. And I know what they need. They don’t need me, but I’ll give them my best material.”
Due to the Born Sinner creator’s What Dreams May Come Tour, J. Cole’s possible contribution to TLC’s upcoming album is still up in the air. Cole spoke on the Wale-assisted tour, What Dreams May Come, which was inspired by the 1998 film of the same name, a motion picture starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr.
“Born Sinner was based on that movie, conceptually,” Cole said. “‘Cause if you listen to the album, it’s literally like you go to hell. You’re starting off in hell and you’re trying to make it to heaven. And the tour is the same way, so that’s why we called it What Dreams May Come.”
Cole also revealed that he plans on making a stop in New York soon, though no date has been confirmed.
“There’s certain places you just gotta go,” Cole said. “It’s even other places that I’m not going that I wish I was going, but New York is one of those ones we definitely gonna come see. I just can’t announce anything for a few weeks.”
Lastly, Cole addressed album sales for his sophomore effort, Born Sinner. Despite outselling a number of top Rap albums this year, he said he’s more concerned with the response from fans.
“It feels good,” Cole said. “Sales are a nice bonus to the reaction. I’m really just grateful about the reaction and the love and appreciating that. Sales are like a great bonus behind that…I would love to hit platinum. That’d be amazing.”
Born Sinner has outsold Kanye West’s sixth solo album, Yeezus. Both albums were released in June.