Music Monday Spotlight: J. Cole (Circa June 2010)
Six years later, I’m still feeling this guy.
Inspired to write by the flow of the illest emcee to grace the mic since Nas, J. Cole is the savior to a once dying Hip Hop genre.
Hot on the scene with three mix tapes currently released, J Cole, is leading the freshman class of Hip Hop, back to its true form. He has a flow that runs like water, infused with conscious lyrics about his struggle to get into the Hip Hop game without depending on clever metaphors or punchlines to get his verses heard.
Born in Germany, and raised in North Carolina, J. Cole has been reciting rhymes since he was 12. With the passion for Hip Hop in his heart, he knew the best way to get his talent noticed was to move to New York.
Raised by a single mother, the only way to get to New York and live there was to get a scholarship. So, J. Cole got himself a scholarship at St. Johns University, and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Communications. After graduation, J. Cole tried dishing his demo tape to Jay Z outside the Roc the Mic Studio in New York, but was snubbed by Jay as he was too CEO to accept demo tapes.
Eventually, J. Cole’s tape reached Jay Z and once he heard his track, Lights Please, Cole became the first artist signed with the label Roc Nation.
J. Cole is often compared to fellow freshman emcee, Drake, and has a battle ahead of him to overcome Drake’s shadow due to his mainstream popularity. The media has already begun starting a rivalry between the two emcees, comparing their relationship to that of Nas and Jay Z’s in the late 90’s. The two apparently don’t seem like they have any beef as they have nothing but positive things to say about one another in interviews.
However, with the recent release of Drakes debut album, Thank Me Later, he has been labelled the new golden boy of Hip Hop which leads people to wonder, “What’s it like to be the next Drake?”.
Featured on tracks like Jay Z’s, Star is Born, off the Blueprint 3 album, and Wale’s Beautiful Bliss, off of Attention Deficit, J. Cole has already made his presence felt in Hip Hop. He is an exciting emcee to listen to and has nothing but a bright future in Hip Hop ahead of him as he drops line after line of creative lyricism filled with meaning.
J. Cole’s debut studio album will be highly anticipated and when it drops and will be crowned the official Golden Boy of Hip Hop. The hype is the truth, and if you haven’t witnessed it for yourself, be sure to check out his mixtapes; The Come Up, The Warm Up and Cole World.
Below are a few tracks that are personal favorites and highlights J. Cole’s verbal talent on the Mic.