About J. Cole
Jermaine Cole, professionally known as J. Cole, is an American rapper who has risen to fame based on his lyrical prowess and his affinity to stay as real as possible when the growing trend in hip-hop seems to be put on an act or front to gain fans. J. Cole was influenced by some of the best rappers that rose to fame in 90s.
J. Cole was born in West Germany at an American military base to an African-American father and a European American. His father abandoned his family while J. Cole was still very young, forcing his mother to relocate. Growing up in the South, J. Cole did not have the easiest upbringing.
With only a single parent and a society that thrived on drugs and violence, he had some tough decisions to make early on in his life. J. Cole was street smart, book smart, and a promising basketball player going up. Eventually his basketball career reached an end, and J. Cole made the wise decision to turn to music.
Beginnings of Career
With a style that blended Nas and Tupac, J. Cole had a promising start to his career thanks in a large part to a few classic mixtapes. Starting with The Come Up and The Warm Up, by 2009 J. Cole was signed to Roc-Nation, the label owned by rap titan, Jay-Z. In addition, J. Cole was chosen as one XXL Magazine’s Top Ten Freshmen, a list that consists of rappers projected to be the next big thing after only one year in the spotlight.
It all culminated in what became his coming out party in the rap industry. Friday Night Lights, J. Cole’s third mixtape, is still a favorite amongst his most loyal of fans. The twenty-song mixtape included features from Drake and Wale, two other rappers on the same trajectory as J. Cole at the time. From then on, J. Cole has solidified himself as a household name in the rap game and has been in album mode ever since.
J. Cole Discography
Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011) – With features from Jay-Z, Trey Songz and Missy Elliott, J. Cole’s first crack at an album was a solid effort. The album peaked at number 1 one the US Billboard 200 and went certified Platinum in the United States moving 855,000 units.
Born Sinner (2013) – His second album was highly anticipated following a stellar debut. Named Born Sinner, paying homage to lyrics from the Notorious BIG, J. Cole’s second album displayed his consistency. He wedged himself in the conversation as the best active rapper of his generation by once again reaching number 1 on the charts and going certified platinum. Highlights of the second album included, “Let Nas Down,” “Crooked Smile” and “Forbidden Fruit,” featuring Kendrick Lamar.
2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014) – Far and away J. Cole’s best work as a rapper. It was his most personal work and highlighted many of the things he faced growing up in the South as a son of a single mother. Forest Hills Drive was the street he grew up on, and the iconic album cover of him sitting on the roof of his house is an image fans will never forget. “Apparently,” “No Role Modelz” and “Fire Squad” are all classic tracks that led to J. Cole becoming only the sixth rapper to ever have their first three albums go platinum. 2014 Forest Hills Drive would eventually go double Platinum and was nominated for a grammy in 2015.
4 Your Eyez Only (2016) – In his next album, J. Cole continued his trend of not having any features on his album. The rapper became somewhat of a recluse in the rap game since the industry had flooded with phonies. J. Cole needed no help. The rap giant again went Platinum for the fourth time in a row. “Neighbors” and “Immortal” were two of the gems that stood out on the album. Although he kept his peers at arms-length, fans embraced J. Cole even more thanks in large part to the fact he was staying true to who we is as a person and an artist.
KOD (2018) – His most recent work in the studio was also his most surprising. Without much warning, J. Cole released his fifth album in the spring of 2018. It is introspective, powerful and personal, a trend that has been evident since his third album. On this one, he two features from Kill Edward, later revealed as his alter-ego. It is his only album that has yet to go Platinum, but in time his fans should take care of that and make J. Cole a perfect 5 for 5. With powerful songs such as “KOD” and “ATM,” J. Cole takes shots at societies negative affect on the youth, and how that has allowed the rap game to be polluted with artists who are not producing quality music but still attaining fame.
J. Cole is in his element on this album and seems to be content with where he is professionally and personally. Making statements like this through albums is a risky proposition for artists but it seemed to be an easy for J. Cole.
J. Cole graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA.
He was awarded a scholarship at St. John’s University.
He married a woman he met in college and the two have a child together now.
J. Cole Tour Tickets
If you are interested in hearing KOD and countless other J. Cole classics live, then you are in the right spot. TicketNetwork has KOD Tour tickets here at a great price. The tour kicks off in August and features Young Thug as the opener.