"I feel like this: Whatever is in your path and in your heart, you need to do
Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985), aka. J.Cole, is an American rapper/producer. (Born in Franfurt, Germany raised in Fayettville, North Carolina), in 2009 he became the first artist to sign to Jay-Z
's Roc Nation label.
His debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story
was released in September 2011, and hit number one on the US Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums and Top Rap Albums chart, selling more than 218,000 in its first week.
He received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 54th Grammy Awards.
Released his sophomore album - Born Sinner
- in 2013, and a collaboration album with Kendrick Lamar
is in the recording stages.
His third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
came out on 9 December 2014.
Influences: Tupac, Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, Outkast, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Master P, Canibus, Big Pun
- The Come Up (Mixtape) (2007)
- The Warm Up (Mixtape) (2009)
- Friday Night Lights (Mixtape) (2010)
- Cole World: The Sideline Story (2011)
- Truly Yours (Mixtape) (2013)
- Truly Yours 2 (Mixtape) (2013)
- Born Sinner (2013)
- Truly Yours 3 (2013)
- Revenge of the Dreamers (with Dreamville Records) (Mixtape) (2014)
- 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014)
Tropes applicable to J.Cole include
- Alternative Hip Hop
- Ascended Fanboy: Judging by his mixtapes, he's a pretty big fan of Jay-Z and Kanye West. Whose label did he sign to?
- Taken Up to Eleven on Born Sinner, where he discusses his fanboy tendencies for Nas (including that the latter didn't like Cole's song "Work Out") on the self-explanatory "Let Nas Down".
- Book Ends: The album Born Sinner has its intro "Villuminati" open with a distorted version of the chorus of the last track, "Born Sinner".
- Broken Pedestal: References this on "See World". This might be a reference to rapper Canibus, who Cole has stated he's a fan of. Canibus would later diss Cole, only to recant later.
- But Not Too Black: J. Cole is biracial and has mentioned this trope a few times, sometimes playing it straight other times subverting or deconstructing it.
- Call Back: Does this frequently.
- "Ladies" contains references to "Split You Up"
- "Heartache" and "2Face" both contain references to "Dollar and a Dream"
- "Power Trip" contains a reference to "Dreams", he even goes as far as to build the video for "Power Trip" around this call back.
- His Pastor Kerney Thomas skit on 'Born Sinner' is a reference to the third verse of his song "Blow Up" where he criticizes televangelism.
- "Cole Summer" subtly calls back "Can I Holla At Ya".
- Colbert Bump: Has tried to give this of late to one of his friends, a young rapper called Bas, who got scene-stealing features on "Cousins" from 'Truly Yours 2' and "New York Times" on 'Born Sinner'.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Deconstructed on "Chaining Day"
- Digging Yourself Deeper: The reaction caused by his Crosses the Line Twice lyrics on "Villuminati".
- Disappeared Dad: He has a strained relationship with his father, this is a reoccurring topic of his.
- Dream Team: Him and Jay-Z on "Mr. Nice Watch" and him and TLC on "Crooked Smile".
- Him and Kendrick Lamar.
- DJ Khaled assembled one of him, Big KRIT and Kendrick for his song "They Ready".
- Him, Kanye West and the rest of Kanye's GOOD Music label on "Looking for Trouble".
- Dual Meaning Chorus: "World Is Empty", "Can I Holla At Ya?".
- Early Installment Weirdness: His earlier works circa The Come Up often contained references to guns and violence, something that he actively avoids now.
- Freestyle Version: Frequent across his earlier mixtapes, mostly over songs by Kanye West and Jay-Z, although also over Cassie's "Must Be Love", Missy Elliott's "Best Friend" and Talib Kweli's "Get By".
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Enchanted"
- The Mentor: His is Jay-Z. In terms of record production his mentor is hip-hop producer, No I.D., who also mentored Kanye West.
- Music Is Politics: Discussed in "Cole Summer" and "Let Nas Down".
- Murder the Hypotenuse: "Dreams", as well as the video for "Power Trip"
- Non-Appearing Title: "Before I'm Gone", "Enchanted", "Villuminati", "LAnd of the Snakes", "Sideline Story", "Lil' Ghetto Nigga", "Is She Gone Pop?".
- N-Word Privileges
- Rapping For Several: One of his trademark styles, especially notable in songs like "Lost Ones", "Can I Holla At Ya" and "Crunch Time".
- Record Producer: The majority of the music he's released has been self-produced.
- Refrain from Assuming: "Power Trip", "Forbidden Fruit", "Premeditated Murder", "Tears For ODB", "Rich Niggaz"
- Sampling: A key part of his production style.
- Spiritual Successor: Arguably to an early Kanye West.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Some of his guest appearances on song by other artist put him in this position.
- Those Two Guys: Him and Kendrick Lamar. Also Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Unexpected Character: A few... His first album had Missy Elliott (who had been on a music hiatus), whilst his second had TLC, Amber Coffman, Mike Epps and Pastor Kearney Thomas, whilst if you bought the deluxe of that album you got a song which included a chorus (for no apparent reason) by 50 Cent.
- Wolverine Publicity: Sort of averted. He does have a tendency to do lots of features, but they don't seem to give him the exposure they probably should.
- That being said, he's worked with Drake, Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, The Game, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Keri Hilson, Rihanna, Big Sean, Tyga and Rita Ora, amongst others.