J. Cole


The first artist signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, J. Cole (born Jermaine Cole) was born to military parents in Germany and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before attending St. John’s University in New York and graduating Magna Cum Laude. The self-described “LeBron James of rap” released his first mixtape, The Come Up, in 2007. After hearing the song, “Lights Please,” Jay-Z decided to sign him. A second mixtape, The Warm Up, was followed by a guest verse on Jay-Z’s 2009’s The Blueprint 3, aptly titled “A Star Is Born.” After a hit collaboration with Miguel (“All I Want Is You”), and a third mixtape, Friday Night Lights, Cole released his debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story to rave reviews and a number one spot on the Billboard charts. His follow-up LP, Born Sinner, was released in June 2013. The next year, Cole released his third studio LP 2014 Forest Hills Drive, with very little promotion and no singles released. It went on to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and cranked out the hits “Wet Dreamz” and “Apparently.”

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J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar Drop 'Black Friday' Freestyles

Music Matters artists swap tracks for the hangover holiday.

Music News: BET Breaks: J. Cole Goes Home to Visit a Fan Battling Cancer

The rapper from N.C. shows hometown love to a fan. (11/23/2015)

J. Cole Visits a Fan Battling Cancer in a North Carolina Hospital

Just another amazing act of kindness from the rapper.

I'm a Boss: Artists-Turned-Executives

Rappers who went from the booth to the boardroom.

Music News: Moment of Clarity: The State of Hip Hop in 2015, Part 1

Panelists discuss the #BLM movement's influence on hip hop. (10/30/2015)
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