But after the concert, Mr. Cole wanted to party. So he headed out to Miami Beach for booties and bottles at Mansion. And then if what he told Crossfade was true, homie snatched an early-morning snack at a secret SoBe burger shack.
See the cut for our Q&A with J. Cole. The topics: Rihanna, mixtapes, Miami Beach, junk food, and his impending debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story.
Crossfade: Do you bum around the Beach much? Or do you just make it to Miami for business?
J. Cole: I come out for Memorial Day. I come around spring break. I try to make it out about a couple of times a year.
How's your road trip with Rihanna been so far?
It's been good, man. It's been fun. I actually got a little sad 'cause I realized we've only got like 12 days left.
What kind of setlist are you doing? Are you throwing any left-field moments at the fans?
I'm doing about 30 minutes. We planned the setlist, like perfect. But I've got to understand it's not my crowd. And I understood that right away, so we picked the most successful songs that I have. We never switched it up too much. If anything, we kind of versed-off on like one or two songs. But it was really short and to the point.
What's the status of your debut full-length slab? Is it finished, packaged, and ready to go for fall?
Yeah, September 27 is the date. And August 4 is the day I turn it in. It's being mixed right now as we speak. I'm actually still laying a couple of last-minute vocals. And I'll probably be working until the day I turn it in. But it's done. It's ready to go. And if I needed to turn it in next week, I could. So September 27 it will be on sale.
The internet's also been buzzing about this new mixtape you're planning to drop. Do you have a title for that thing?
No, I'm not sure about the title. I got one in mind but I'm not sure. It's gonna be really good, but it's not gonna be album level. You know, I'm not putting that much care into it. Maybe I will in a couple of weeks when I got time to really lock it in for a week and really put the songs together. But I got a bunch of extra songs and I wanna get them out to the fans.
Which tracks are going to be on that mixtape?
Some that already came out, like "Return of Simba" and "Killers." But everything else is brand-new, never-before-heard material.
And where did that material come from? Is it just tracks that came out of recording the official debut?
Yeah, exactly. Friday Night Lights was like that too. A lot of these songs I recorded for the album. So much time had passed and I had so many songs. Some of these songs are songs that I was looking for a single. I was in single mode. And then some of them, I just felt like making some music.
How about this Kendrick Lamar collabo that you announced? Is that still in the very early stages? Or are you pretty deep into it?
It's still very early. We still have the same amount of songs as we had when we started. But the fact that we're always talking about it -- and will continue to talk about it -- goes to show that we both really mean it. So we're definitely gonna to do it.
When you were in Detroit recently, you scarfed down some Krispy Kreme. We've got that here too. But what's your favorite Miami junk food? Where would your crazy fans find you snacking at 3 a.m.?
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Yeah, I don't know what it's called. But it's a burger spot on Collins that's incredible and I have to go to [it] every time I'm in Miami. They make the best burger I've ever had in my life.
Got it. You're an early-morning burger man.