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Jay-Z Talks J. Cole’s Best New Artist Grammy Nomination

Jay-Z and J. Cole
Larry Busacca / Cindy Ord, Getty Images

Rap mogul Jay-Z is beaming over J. Cole‘s Best New Artist Grammy nomination. It’s a crowning achievement for his Roc Nation artist, who had to wait three years to release his debut LP ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story.’

“I think he’s already won Best New Artist, to me,” he tells MTV News. “His journey is what I’m really excited about.” Whoa! It’s too early for predictions, Hov.

All kidding aside, J. Cole had a phenomenal year. Not only is ‘Cole World’ a gold-certified LP, it’s also the best-selling album from a debut rap artist in 2011.

Jay-Z credits the label’s efforts in artist development for Cole’s newfound success. “The person he is today is not who he was when he first walked in,” says Hov about the North Carolina MC. “He got a chance to really go out, see what worked, see what people connect to, figure out how he was gonna tell his story.”

Jay-Z, who is up for three awards himself, including Best Rap Album for ‘Watch the Throne,’ isn’t concerned about J. Cole’s odds on winning the coveted golden gramophone. “Whether he was nominated or not, he was the best new artist to me,” he says. “[He] sold 200-and-something-thousand records in his first week; he was the best new artist. I’m sure it’s great for him.”

Watch Jay-Z Talk About J. Cole’s Grammy Nod

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