Follow TV Tropes


Music / J. Cole

Go To

Influences: Tupac Shakur, Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, OutKast, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Master P, Canibus, Big Pun

"I feel like this: Whatever is in your path and in your heart, you need to do."

Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985), better known by J. Cole, is an American rapper/producer. Born in Frankfurt, Germany and raised in Fayetteville, 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.

On December 2nd, he released a documentary called Eyez exclusively for Tidal. The documentary included behind the scenes footage of the making of his next album, 4 Your Eyez Only. He also showed off two music videos for the songs, "False Prophets" and "everyone dies" which aren't on the album.


  • 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)
  • 4 Your Eyez Only (2016)
  • KOD (2018)
  • The Off-Season (2021)

J. Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Broken Record:
    • From "Wet Dreamz": There's "And I ain't never did this before, no".
    • From "No Role Modelz": There's "Don't save her, she don't wanna be saved".
    • From "Hello": There's "Shit seem so sad when you look back".
    • From "ATM": There's "Count it up, count it up, count it up, count it".
    • From "FRIENDS": There's "Cop another bag and smoke today" repeated 16 times.
  • 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".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: He's a rapper, what else would you expect?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fake Brit: He and BIA adopt (fluctuating) British accents on their song "LONDON".
  • 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".
  • Fun with Acronyms: KOD is short for either Kids on Drugs, Kill Our Demons, or King Overdosed.
  • Guest Fighter: Appeared in the 2009 reboot of NBA Jam with producer 9th Wonder as an unlockable team.
  • Jazz Rap: Not exclusively, but many of the beats he makes frequently utilize jazz samples.
  • 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.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In "Foldin' Clothes", where Cole (as the character James Mc Millain) expresses undying love and dedication to his pregnant wife by doing mundane tasks like folding clothes and watching Netflix with her.
  • 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?".