He began rapping at the age of 12. He thought he should have been signed when he was 15 but that didn't happen. He added producer to his belt after his mother bought him a beat machine.
"They say I'm like the human body. I produce my own sh-t" - Royal FlushEven though he went on to college, he was using it as a way to get to New York to give himself a better chance of being signed. Music was always his number one priority and goal.
In 2007, he 'came up' with the release of his debut mixtape The Come Up. Little did he know that would be his big break. After hearing 'Lights Please' (one of my favorites), Jay-Z signed Cole to Roc Nation. In 2009, he released The Warm Up, which included the songs 'Dreams' and a rap cover of Jay-Z's 'Dead Presidents'. But he was not done yet...he was just getting started.
"I came up, I warmed up! The next up, I blow up! If you ain't peeped the trend by now, with each rap I go up!"- Last CallJ. Cole has been blowing up every since. He has been featured on Jay-Z's 'A Star Is Born', Wale's 'Beautiful Bliss' as well as Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek's 'Just Begun'. In June 2010, he released the video for his single 'Who Dat', which he then performed at the BET Hip Hop Awards later that year.
Then came the Friday Night Lights mixtape, which was released on November 12, 2010. (Who remembers waiting up for hours just to download it? *raises hand*) It was his biggest mixtape yet. It had features from Drake, Wale and Omen. If you ask me, FNL was an album hands down. We were shocked that something this good could be FREE!
Cole's debut album is set to be released March of this year but no album title or actual release date has been announced. I am sure it will be worth the wait.
Happy Birthday J. Cole!!! From the Hip Hop ChicZ!!!
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DOWNLOAD: The Come Up
DOWNLOAD: The Warm Up
DOWNLOAD: Friday Night Lights