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Work Out (J. Cole song)

"Work Out" is a song by American hip hop recording artist and record producer J. Cole, and released as the lead single from his debut studio album Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011).The song was officially released on June 27, 2011 through Roc Nation and Columbia. Nas voiced his displeasure with the song, which inspired Cole to create the song "Let Nas Down" for his album Born Sinner . It samples the chorus from "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul.

"Work Out"
Single by J. Cole
from the album Cole World: The Sideline Story
ReleasedJune 15, 2011 (2011-06-15)
FormatDigital download
Producer(s)J. Cole
J. Cole singles chronology
"Feel Love"
"Work Out"
Music video
"Work Out" on YouTube


J. Cole released "Work Out" on June 15, 2011, in honor of the second anniversary of his highly acclaimed mixtape The Warm Up.[1] The song, produced by Cole himself, samples "The New Workout Plan" by Kanye West and interpolates "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul.[2][3] The song is featured as a bonus track on Cole World: The Sideline Story.[4]

Music videoEdit

The music video, shot in Brooklyn, New York, was directed by Clifton Bell. The video depicts J. Cole playing basketball, when a highly respected female (Bernice Burgos) catches his eye and he begins to try to win her over. At the end, it was reversed.

Chart performanceEdit

"Work Out" charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on the week of July 23, 2011 at number eighty-five.[5] "Work Out" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 on week of September 24, 2011 at number ninety-eight.[6][failed verification] The song has since peaked at number thirteen. As of September 2013, the song has sold 1,853,000 downloads in the United States.[7] On May 6, 2013, the single was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over a two million digital copies in the United States.[8]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[18] Gold 40,000*
United States (RIAA)[19] 2× Platinum 2,000,000[7]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Country Date Version Format Label Ref
United States June 27, 2011 Single version Digital download Roc Nation [20]
October 17, 2011 J Farell Remix


  1. ^ J. Cole Debuts His First Single “Work Out”, Off His Upcoming Debut Album
  2. ^ J. Cole's Work Out sample of Kanye West's The New Workout Plan WhoSampled
  3. ^ J. Cole's Work Out sample of Paula Abdul's Straight Up WhoSampled
  4. ^ Cole World: The Sideline Story
  5. ^ J. Cole - Work Out Music Charts α
  6. ^ Top 100 Songs
  7. ^ a b Grein, Paul (September 11, 2013). "Week Ending Sept. 8, 2013. Songs: Race & The R&B Chart". Chart Watch. Yahoo. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  10. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  11. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  12. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard.
  13. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "J. Cole Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Best of 2012 - Hot 100 Songs". Retrieved 2012-12-14.
  16. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Year-End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  17. ^ "Rhythmic Songs – Year-End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  18. ^ "Canadian single certifications – J. Cole – Work Out". Music Canada.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – J. Cole – Work Out". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  20. ^ [2]. Retrieved September 4, 2011.

External linksEdit