Complex: With the industry the way it is, it seems everyone's been getting 360 deals. Is that what you got?
J. Cole: Yeah, it's a 360 deal. Which is a bi*ch, but it is necessary.
Complex: Why is it necessary for you? Can you tell us about it?
J. Cole: Basically, 360 deals mean the label gets a piece of everything. Back in the days, it was sacred that a label could not touch your show money. Worst things worst, if a label wasn't putting you out, you could always eat off your show money, your merchandising, anything that your name is on, they couldn't touch. But now that albums aren't selling, labels need a way to make money, cause they're losing money.
J. Cole: So how do they do that? Now they get a cut of their artists show money, they get a cut of their artists merchandising, some labels, not mine, get a cut of their artists publishing, that's a big no no. I'm not getting r*ped, but it's a 360 deal. On the other hand you want that because if I'm an artist on Def Jam, and my album didn't sell that well, back in the day a label was so quick to shelf you. So quick to be like, fu*k you, n*gga, we can't make any money off you no more, your album cost too much, blah blah. But now if he had a 360 deal, the label will say, Aight let's at least throw him on tour, let's at least make money off them like that. And now you're eating and the labels eating. And everyone's happy.