Upon announcing that he would move up the release of his sophomore album, Born Sinner, to June 18, Carolina emcee J. Cole caused quite the stir since the change means he’ll now be releasing an album on the same day as fellow rapper Kanye West.

Many questioned the move and Cole broke down exactly why he chose to change the release date for his album during an interview with Billboard.com. According to the Dreamville representer, he’d rather compete directly against Kanye’s Yeezus album rather than drop his project a week after the release of Yeezus.

“I’m not going to sit [here]… I worked too hard to come a week later after Kanye West drops an amazing album. It’d be like, ‘Oh and J.Cole dropped too, a week later.’ Nah. I’m going to go see him on that date. He’s the greatest. So it’s like, I’m a competitor by nature so it was instant, it wasn’t even a thought,” the rapper explained.

During the interview, Cole seemed to credit his decision to move up the release of his album on the confidence he has in Born Sinner and strayed away from bringing up any comparisons to the highly competitive 2007 SoundScan showdown between Kanye and 50 Cent.

“It’s a definite statement about how I feel about my album, which is confident…At the same time, let’s not forget this is Kanye West,” said Cole. “He bets 100, 1,000, whatever the perfect is. His track record is flawless. I’m only expecting an incredible album from him.”

Prior to this week’s announcement, Born Sinner was initially set for a June 25 release.

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