J. Cole Brought Out Drake and Jay Z at Fayetteville ‘2014 FHD’ Tour

J. Cole‘s 2014 Forest Hills Drive Tour ended last night, but no without a huge surprise during an emotional performance.

In a stunt that artists usually save for bigger markets, like New York or Los Angeles, Cole brought out two of his rapper friends, Jay Z and Drake, in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina–the very town he left for New York City in an attempt to get signed by Jay Z. It’s safe to say his plan worked.

Drake, who was just in New Orleans the night before for Lil Wayne‘s LilWeezyana Fest, performed a few of his recent hits, namely “Know Yourself,” “Energy,” and “Back to Back.” Jay Z delivered his Magna Carta standout “FWMYKIGI,” and of course, “Public Service Announcement,” with his protege J. Cole rapping at his side.

Monumental.

Jay Electronica Takes Shots At Drake & J. Cole

While performing in London at XOYO, Jay Electronica took the time out to remind the crowd who he is: “Jay Electronica is the God of Hip-Hop. You might be the 6 God, but I am the God.” It didn’t just stop there.

He interrupted Skepta’s “Shutdown” and said, “I’m sorry but J. Cole ain’t got bars like this. I’m sorry, whoever your favorite rapper is, they all know that I’m the God.”sips tea. 

He went on Twitter saying rap was a “clown circus” when Drake and Meek Mill had their duel. So what is he trying to pull here? Hopefully this will get all 3 emcees in the studio real soon.

Follow Ebbony on Twitter, @miss2bees

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J. Cole is a Superstar, Deal With It

Photo: JDotShots for Columbia Records

As J. Cole sat atop the faux roof of 2014 Forest Hills Drive–the childhood home he named his 3rd studio album after–at Madison Square Garden in New York City last night, he began to tell a story many rappers tell when they’ve “made it big,” often signified by achieving something as momentous as selling out MSG after releasing an album with no pop records. However, this story was different from the one say, Jay Z might tell, or Kanye West, or Nicki Minaj. J. Cole, along with Drake, Kid Cudi, and a handful of others, make up a small crop of superstars whose meager beginnings lived on the internet. When Kanye West refers to when he was pumping out “5 beats a day for 3 summers,” we have nothing but our imagination to rely on when attempting to conjure an image of a 24-year old Kanye West, huddled over a small desk in Newark, matching synths with samples. However, there are pictures of Drake and 40 dressed in cringeworthy outfits on Facebook and Myspace, dated 2008 or 2009. Every once in a while, someone digs far back enough to share a tweet J. Cole sent out 6 years ago, celebrating his 502nd follower. He now has in excess of 7 million.

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20,000 of them packed out New York City’s most storied concert venue last night, the same venue the man who signed Cole, Jay Z, sold out in 24 hours for what was expected to be his farewell concert 12 years ago. As Cole took the stage amidst brooding blue LED lights, at one point joking about how unaccustomed he is to such bravado–“I don’t even know what the f*ck LED lights means”–there was nary a dull moment. Despite the fact that he relied on his Dollar & A Dream show formula–pick a project, and perform it from front to back–for a show that, one would imagine, doesn’t call for such a unilateral agenda, he had New York’s attention for the duration. Even when he spent nearly 10 minutes telling a story about the metaphoric nature of his song’s titles–“St. Tropez” in particular–or performed some of the album’s less popular cuts (“Hello”), the energy level rarely dipped below electric, and never strayed from fixated. “January 28th,” “Tale of 2 Citiez,” and “No Role Modelz,” shook the building as expected, and even a revisit of his debut album, “Lights Please,” drew one of the night’s biggest, loudest cheers.

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So, as he began his brief rags to riches monologue atop that stage roof, which would precede 2014FHD‘s closer, “Love Yourz,” the song that has prevented at least one person from committing suicide, the sold-out crowd at MSG interrupted him with chants of “J. Cole, J. Cole,” before eventually erupting into a voracious standing ovation, one that left Cole in disbelief. Whatever he was about to say, this crowd had already witnessed. They saw how he was ridiculed for making “Work Out.” They remember when he was forced to drop what was meant to be his debut album a year early because it lacked a “radio hit.” They’d witnessed the jokes from social media personalities, promising Cole would amount to little more than a standout on the mixtape circuit, and the mercilessly circulated memes poking fun at Cole’s perceived lack of a personal relationship with Shawn Carter, who crowned Cole with a Roc-A-Fella chain at MSG’s smaller venue last year.

Cole’s approach to his 3rd album cycle was passive-aggressive, at least with respect to the critiques that had been held over his head following his first two official releases. He’s been called boring by many, but he’s still yet to let anyone rap on his albums, save Jay Z and Bas. 2014 Forest Hills Drive is the first of his albums to have absolutely no features, be it a guest chorus a verse. He traveled everywhere in sweats, his hair grew relentlessly, and last night it appeared to be an ode to The Weeknd. No records were serviced to radio before the album’s December release, and when “Apparently” was finally pushed, it was the only thing like it on the radio. The entire process, culminating in last night’s triumph, prompts a recall of Andre 3000–someone Cole has compared himself to in the past–in one of his best 2010’s guest verses, on T.I.‘s “Sorry.”

Was young and had to choose between you
And what the rest of the world might offer me, sh*t what would you do
Well I’d probably do it differently if second the chance
Only if some cool ass older man would’ve let me know in advance
There’s this quarry, that is dug so deep in a father’s chest
When he feel that he’s broken up his nest
And he figured shit he was just doing the best that he could
Which end up being the worst that he could
And all some p***y n***a on the internet can say is that verse ain’t good
It’s boring? Boring? Really?

I wonder which one of these 20,000 people were bored last night.

-Khari Nixon (@khari92)

 

Rain or Shine, J. Cole Shut the OVO Stage All The Way Down

It was a rainy day in Toronto but the party went on..

People had their umbrellas and rain ponchos handy and enjoyed performances from Dreamville, YG, Jeremih, Big Sean, and J.Cole, and in that order.

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Photo: Haleema Khan

Everyone did an amazing job and Cole’s closing act was the icing on the cake. He attempted to perform the entire 2014 Forest Hill Drive but that wasn’t time permitted. But he did manage to sing some goodies from his latest album like “St. Tropez” and “A Tale of 2 Citiez”, and some oldies like “Power Trip” and “Can’t Get Enough”. He even brought Jeremih back out to perform “Planes” with him.

 

Follow Ebbony on Twitter, @miss2bees

 

Watch Janet Jackson’s New Video, “No Sleep,” Featuring J. Cole

Janet is back, and she’s brought a friend

Janet Jackson‘s comeback announcement was met with much excitement, and after releasing the promotional version of her new single, “No Sleeep,” she’s released the official single and its corresponding music video, which features J. Cole. The collaboration comes as no surprise, considering earlier this week, Janet posted a picture to her Instagram of her and her friends at Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive Tour show.

The video, which you can watch above, features the best of both artists, mixing Janet’s quietly-bubbly persona and tenacious dance moves with J. Cole’s witty wordplay and smooth cadence, including a deft reference to Michael Jackson’s classic “Butterflies” record.

Enjoy the clip above, and get ready for Janet’s 11th LP, which will be her first release since 2008’s Discipline.

J. Cole Pockets Unruly Fan’s iPhone During San Diego Show

Cole, you sly devil, you

At any concert, even when the most beloved of artists are performing, you’re liable to see something outrageous. Something random. Something that wouldn’t normally happen outside those sacred venue doors.

For example, an elite rapper getting hit in the face with Steve Jobs’ finest creation.

That’s what happened recently while J. Cole was performing in San Diego, and he had the coolest reaction. Didn’t get too angry, didn’t get riled up. In fact, he barely missed a note as he picked the phone up off the stage and pocketed it, appearing rejuvenated in the process.

Looks like Cole’s got a new throwaway phone.

J. Cole Brought Out Kendrick Lamar in L.A. Last Night

J. Cole continues to show out on Dollar and a Dream Tour J. Cole‘s Dollar and a Dream Tour is like his B-Sides show, before there was a B-Sides show. On the tour, which is in its third year, Cole shies away from his commercially successful records, and generally performs one of his pre-superstar projects in its entirety. Last year, it was The Warm Up. This year, Friday Night Lights.

Still, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t sometimes get his superstar friends to join in the fun. At last night’s show in Los Angeles, J. Cole was joined on stage by one of his best buds: Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick performed crowd favorites like “Cartoons and Cereal” and his potential summer anthem, “Alright,” with Cole’s help, before assisting Cole with one of his biggest current records, “Tale of 2 Citiez,” which is such a guaranteed crowd rocker, it could be the direct successor to Drake’s “Know Yourself.”

Check out a couple videos above of their performance.

Watch J. Cole’s New Video, “Wet Dreamz”

Cole unleashes the third flick off 2014FHD

Since the final month of 2014, during which J. Cole dropped his eye-opening 2014 Forest Hills Drive album, the Dreamville Records head honcho has pretty much been on fire. Music videos for “Apparently” and “GOMD,” a scintillating performance on David Letterman, and a series of national and international tours that could be mistaken for Hip-Hop festivals.

Today, the Fayetteville rep’s run continues with a brand new, puppy love visual for “Wet Dreamz,” the second song on the album. Watch it above.

2015 Billboard Award Finalists

The show airs live May 17 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Hosted by Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen

The Finalists for the 2015 Billboard Awards:

TOP ARTIST
Ariana Grande
One Direction
Katy Perry
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift

TOP NEW ARTIST
5 Seconds of Summer
Iggy Azalea
Hozier
Sam Smith
Meghan Trainor

TOP MALE ARTIST
Drake
Pharrell Williams
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
Justin Timberlake

TOP FEMALE ARTIST
Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

TOP DUO/GROUP
5 Seconds of Summer
Florida Georgia Line
MAGIC!
Maroon 5
One Direction

TOP BILLBOARD 200 ARTIST
One Direction
Pentatonix
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift

TOP HOT 100 ARTIST
Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

TOP DIGITAL SONGS ARTIST
Iggy Azalea
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

TOP RADIO SONGS ARTIST
John Legend
Maroon 5
Ed Sheeran
Sam Smith
Taylor Swift

TOP TOURING ARTIST
Lady Gaga
One Direction
Katy Perry
The Rolling Stones
Justin Timberlake

TOP SOCIAL ARTIST
Justin Bieber
Miley Cyrus
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Taylor Swift

TOP STREAMING ARTIST
Iggy Azalea
Ariana Grande
Nicki Minaj
Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

TOP R&B ARTIST
Beyoncé
Chris Brown
John Legend
Trey Songz
Pharrell Williams

TOP RAP ARTIST
Iggy Azalea
J. Cole
Drake
Nicki Minaj
Rae Sremmurd

TOP COUNTRY ARTIST
Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Florida Georgia Line
Brantley Gilbert
Blake Shelton

TOP ROCK ARTIST
Bastille
Coldplay
Fall Out Boy
Hozier
Lorde

TOP LATIN ARTIST
J Balvin
Juan Gabriel
Enrique Iglesias
Prince Royce
Romeo Santos

TOP DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST
Avicii
Clean Bandit
Disclosure
Calvin Harris
Lindsey Stirling

TOP CHRISTIAN ARTIST
Casting Crowns
Hillsong United
Lecrae
MercyMe
Newsboys

TOP BILLBOARD 200 ALBUM
Maroon 5, V
Pentatonix, That’s Christmas to Me
Ed Sheeran, x
Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour
Taylor Swift, 1989

TOP SOUNDTRACK
The Fault in Our Stars
Fifty Shades of Grey

Frozen
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix: Vol. 1
Into the Woods

TOP R&B ALBUM
Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Chris Brown, X
Michael Jackson, Xscape
John Legend, Love in the Future
Pharrell Williams, G I R L

TOP RAP ALBUM
J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2

TOP COUNTRY ALBUM
Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
Garth Brooks, Man Against Machine
Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
Brantley Gilbert, Just As I Am
Miranda Lambert, Platinum

TOP ROCK ALBUM
AC/DC, Rock or Bust
The Black Keys, Turn Blue
Coldplay, Ghost Stories
Hozier, Hozier
Lorde, Pure Heroine

TOP LATIN ALBUM
Juan Gabriel, Los Dúo
Enrique Iglesias, Sex and Love
Romeo Santos, Formula: Vol. 2
Santana, Corazon
Marc Anthony, 3.0

TOP DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM
Avicii, True
Disclosure, Settle
Calvin Harris, Motion
Skrillex, Recess
Lindsey Stirling, Shatter Me

TOP CHRISTIAN ALBUM
Lecrae, Anomaly
Casting Crowns, Thrive
MercyMe, Welcome to the New
NEEDTOBREATHE, Rivers in the Wasteland
Chris Tomlin, Love Ran Red

TOP HOT 100 SONG
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
John Legend, “All of Me”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”

TOP DIGITAL SONG
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk!”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy

TOP RADIO SONG
John Legend, “All of Me”
MAGIC!, “Rude”
Nico & Vinz, “Am I Wrong”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy

TOP STREAMING SONG (AUDIO)
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Hozier, “Take Me to Church”
John Legend, “All of Me”
Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Tove Lo, “Habits (Stay High)”

TOP STREAMING SONG (VIDEO)
Idina Menzel, “Let It Go”
Bobby Shmurda, “Hot Boy”
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”
Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass”

TOP R&B SONG
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne, French Montana, Too $hort & Tyga, “Loyal”
Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz, “Talk Dirty”
Jeremih feat. YG, “Don’t Tell ‘Em”
John Legend, “All of Me”
Pharrell Williams, “Happy”

TOP RAP SONG
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX, “Fancy”
Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora, “Black Widow”
Big Sean feat. E-40, “I Don’t F— With You”
Nicki Minaj, “Anaconda”
Bobby Shmurda, “Hot Boy”

TOP COUNTRY SONG
Jason Aldean, “Burnin’ It Down”
Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”
Sam Hunt, “Leave the Night On”
Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, “This Is How We Roll”
Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”

TOP ROCK SONG
Bastille, “Pompeii”
Coldplay, “A Sky Full of Stars”
Fall Out Boy, “Centuries”
Hozier, “Take Me to Church”
Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun”

TOP LATIN SONG
J Balvin feat. Farruko, “6 AM”
Enrique Iglesias feat. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona, “Bailando”
Romeo Santos, “Eres Mía”
Romeo Santos feat. Drake, “Odio”
Romeo Santos, “Propuesta Indecente”

TOP DANCE/ELECTRONIC SONG
Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, “Rather Be”
Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, “Latch”
DJ Snake & Lil Jon, “Turn Down For What”
Ariana Grande feat. Zedd, “Break Free”
Calvin Harris, “Summer”

TOP CHRISTIAN SONG
Francesca Battistelli, “He Knows My Name”
Hillsong United, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
MercyMe, “Greater”
Newsboys, “We Believe”
Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”

BILLBOARD CHART ACHIEVEMENT AWARD PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG GALAXY (FAN-VOTED)
Iggy Azalea
Taylor Swift
Meghan Trainor

-Victoria B. (@unabashedlytori)