J. Cole has a new album coming out and, in anticipation, the North Carolina rapper took some time out to perform at Power 106's Backstage Breakfast series at Universal Studios. With the help of some stellar sound equipment, Cole performed his tracks as if he was in the studio.
He took the occasion to perform a song from his upcoming album Born Sinner, "Crooked Smile." Though he performed it solo for Power 106, the official track features TLC. About having TLC on the record Cole said, "Once I finally got the hook, the first thing I thought about was TLC. ... It was like, 'Ah. It would be crazy if we could get them.' It seemed far-fetched. But they just had these monster records like 'Unpretty' and 'Waterfalls' that had like great messages and their voices are incredible. I was a big TLC fan. So, I thought it was far-fetched, but next thing I know, I'm in LA in the studio with T-Boz and then I fly to Atlanta. I'm in the studio with Chilli. I'm playing Chilli the album. She's dancing to these songs. She's really doing moves to my songs. It's crazy. So, it was an incredible experience."
He said he wanted the track to be empowering, and it is. It's also sweet, kind-hearted, and devoid of the kind of objectification that is so present on other hip-hop albums.
Cole also performed songs from his last album, Cole World, including "Lights Please," "Can't Get Enough" and "Nobody's Perfect."
First he performed "NoBody's Perfect" after being introduced by Big Boi.
Next he gave an impassioned performance of "Can't Get Enough."
He ended the night with a performance of "Lights Please" for the small crowd but, more specifically, for the people "who have been with him for a minute."
Check out Born Sinner on June 18th or stream it now here.