J. Cole Talks 'Work Out' Video, Touring with Rihanna and 'Watch the Throne'

All Eyes on J. Cole as Debut Finally Arrives

While the hip-hop world questioned his hiatus, J.Cole was taking the advice of Jay-Z by "living and being on tour."

J. Cole Eyeing Late Summer Release for 'Heavy' Debut Album

"I felt like they had me on the road too much. I was getting frustrated because they didn't have me in the studio as much as other artists," J. Cole told Billboard.com's The Juice. "I was working every chance I could, but I was also on the road so much. But Jay [Jay-Z] said, 'you need to be on the road, because that's when you're going to get the best material. Just living and being on tour, experiencing all these different cities and seeing what works.' And he's right, that's how 'The Blow Up' came [about]."

It looks like Jay-Z's advice is paying off. Armed with a Kanye West and Paula Abdul sampled, summertime track, "Work Out," as his first single off "Cole World: The Sideline Story" (Sept. 27), Cole has also become the opener for Rihanna's 'Loud' tour. Cee-Lo held the coveted spot prior to Cole but unfortunately had to drop out due to obligations with 'The Voice.'

"It's amazing," Roc Nation signee said of his new gig. "Every night I'm performing in front of a ton of people who've never heard of me and have the opportunity to win a lot of people over. When they hear the single on the radio and see the album is out, they'll really see who I am as an artist. I treat it like that, like I gotta win them over. "

Days prior to our talk with J. Cole, the North Carolina rapper was on set of his video for "Work Out," which is directed by Jake Davis (Wiz Khalifa's "Roll Up" and Drake and Trey Songz's "Successful"). "They're very strong visuals. I've never had visuals like this before," Cole said. "The lighting is incredible, the type of lenses. It's crazy. I can't wait to see it myself, but I haven't seen any rough cuts. We just shot it Monday."

With all the rumors circling the 'net, one can only wonder if J. Cole has heard anything on the release of 'Watch The Throne.' "I don't know a date, but I asked him [Jay-Z] how it was and he just had that look on his face like it was f*cking crazy."

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