As the first Roc Nation signee, J. Cole’s debut album is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year; originally rumored to be titled “Cole World,” the as-yet-untitled album is expected in October and features production from hip-hop glitterati such as No ID, Pharrell, and Jim Jonsin as well as some self-produced tracks.
In the meantime, J. Cole’s released his first official single, “Who Dat,” which debuted at No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early June and reached No. 67 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. The accompanying video for the track was released today (June 22) and can be viewed below, right here on Billboard.com.
The BBgun-helmed clip finds the high energy North Carolina MC walking through barren streets while rapping, “The mindstate of a winner / when you thinking about summer time, I’m thinking about the winter / When you thinking about breakfast, I’m heating up my dinner / I was plotting this moment back when ya’ll was riding spinners,” over marching band drums. Sporting a varsity jacket and a baseball hat, the scenes vary from streets going up in flames, marching band and cheerleaders performing and fans following Cole as they chant the chorus, “Who dat, who dat? Bitch, I got that flame / who dat, who dat? Bitch I got that flame, so don’t worry about my motherfucking name.”
The goal for the album is to embody a timeless feel, according to Cole. In order to achieve this sensation, he’s opted for no collaborations so far — although that might change before the release, he says. “Sometimes it’s not about the name you have on there, sometimes its about the extra voice breaking up the monotony of yours,” he says, adding that he “was just thinking about [Roc Nation artist] Rita [Ora] for a song I’m working on.”
Although Cole was tight-lipped about the potential next single, he did reveal it will impact in coming weeks, possibly as early as first week of July. “Either you pick songs that you already have and truly love, or you’ve got to make a single that’s still you,” he says about the difficulty of choosing the right follow-up track.
Not much else is known on the album due to J. Cole’s wishes to be discrete, both musically and towards his fans. “I like the mystique. If I’m a fan of somebody, I don’t want to know everything they’re doing or all their thoughts,” he says. “It leaves more for your imagination.”