J. Cole is a rapper, record producer, and songwriter. While he’s an original and dynamic performer, his flow is often compared to Nas’.
Cole says his favorite artist is Tupac Shakur and that his music has been heavily influenced by Eminem, Canibus, and Jay-Z.
Cole’s first big hit is his 2011 single, “Work Out.” His first three studio albums have all peaked at number one on the Billboard 200.
During his career, which began in the mid-2000s, Cole has worked with a number of big time hip hop artists including Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songz, Talib Kweli, Miguel, No I.D., Young Cris, and Missy Elliott.
Cole released his first album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, in September of 2011. The album was executive produced by himself and Jay-Z.
Before that, Cole released three critically acclaimed mixtapes: The Come Up Mixtape Vol. 1 (2007), The Warm Up (2009), and Friday Night Lights (2010).
Cole is signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and considers the hip hop legend his mentor.
Before he became a huge star, Cole waited three hours outside of a music studio with the hopes of giving Jay-Z a demo. The wait was in vain as Jay-Z ignored the young rapper.
Not all was lost. Jay-Z finally took notice of Cole after he released his first mixtape.
Cole was born in West Germany on Jan. 28, 1985. His father served in the United States Army but abandon the family when Cole was very young.
Cole grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina and was raised by his mother.
Cole started rapping when he was 12. He attended St. John’s University on an academic scholarship and graduated magna cum laude.
J. Cole’s real name is Jermaine Lamarr Cole. For a while, early in his career, he went by the name of “Therapist.”
Cole is one of the rap world’s most respected emcees. He’s also extremely fan-friendly.
During his “Dollar and a Dream Tours,” Cole announce show locations and start times via social media. He charges just $1 for a concert ticket.