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J. Cole on His "Good Versus Evil" Mentality

"I’ve always existed in two worlds and it’s been there since the beginning," says the 'Born Sinner' rapper. "I walk this line."

As he preps for the June 18 release of upcoming album Born Sinner, J. Cole stopped by to chat with Esteban Serrano about some things on his mind. He's already told us about competing with Kanye, his collaboration with TLC and the marketing strategy for his first mixtape.

In the video above, Cole discusses why he still likes to write instead of type and his dual personality. Highlights below:

On Writing Versus Typing
I read a book called The Artist’s Way and it’s for any blocked artist. A year into making the album, I had all this incredible material. It was flowing but it stopped. Going to the studio was too much pressure. One thing the book talked about was, “Three pages a day.” The first thing you do is write three pages freehand nonstop. That’s how I got back to writing. I got notebooks and notebooks full of lyrics.

On What Makes Born Sinner Different
This is the first time I’ve felt like I was working on an album. The first one felt like I was piecing together things. With this album, I started with nothing. I had songs, but I wasn’t relying on them. It was like, “Let’s start with nothing.” I literally started from scratch and the next thing you know, I’ve got nine songs. It was just a more organic feeling.

On Good Versus Evil
It goes back before I as even conscious of it to just being half-black, half-white. My mother was the only white lady in an all-black church. Being in all the honors and AP classes while all my friends were [somewhere else], I’ve always existed in two worlds and it’s been there since the beginning. I walk this line.

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