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In contrast to “Work Out,” the first single off his debut album Cole World, which was a radio-friendly cut, “Miss America” is more controversial and rebellious. The song opens with JFK’s most famous quote and soon finds Cole conflicted about his love of success and money, in contrast to his problems with the society he has managed to succeed in. He takes direct shots at different aspects of America, including the institution of the church, and ends the song with, “they’ll never play this s**t on the radio”
Certainly an interesting choice for a lead single. In a recent interview with Billboard.com, Cole explained that “as the artist, and as the program directors, and as the DJs, we have a responsibility and a certain power that comes with making the music and playing the music… to keep things fresh and not fall into the mold of what’s traditional.” He acknowledged that the single was a risk, but a risk he wanted to take, saying “any type of commentary is good compared to what a normal single is these days… nobody expects that for your first single.”
Cole said that he would like to drop the album on his birthday, January 28th, but acknowledges that the release date might get pushed back.