It Was This Performance That Prompted J. Cole To Introduce Himself To Kendrick Lamar

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Three years ago a rather important friendship was kindled.

If you let J. Cole tell it–because, according to him, Kendrick’s account of their first meeting differs considerably–three years ago at former L.A. hip-hop U-N-I’s album release party, someone got on stage whose name he couldn’t even make out, and he was blown away by the talent. In a recent interview with blog personality Elliott Wilson, Cole took this away from the telling performance.

“That n*gga’s hungry. Hungry”.

Three years later, with Cole and Kendrick having sold over a million copies of both Cole World: The Sideline Story and good kid, M.A.A.D. city put together, and the Roc Nation star confirming in every interview that the collaboration album with the TDE frontman is very much a reality, Jermaine recounted that moment with Wilson in an interview at Highline Ballroom. “I just was looking and somebody started rapping. As soon as he started rapping I’m like ‘What the fuck?”, he states before describing their meeting and subsequent relationship as “organic”. We’ve uncovered video footage, courtesy of Top Dawg Entertainment themselves, of this distinct performance for your viewing pleasure. Watch as Kendrick makes a lasting impression on J. Cole, to the point where Cole eventually decided on doing an album with Lamar, without even initially knowing his name.

-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)

10 Interesting Facts From The CRWN Interview With J. Cole


J. Cole joins Elliott Wilson for the second installation of the #CRWN interviews.

Ever since we got a taste of Cole’s potential, the greedy fan in all of us took over our musical alter egos. With the constant flow (or inundation) of music being put out by artists, as listeners we naturally become inpatient. We begin to question the artist like we have done with J. Cole, who by the way, is seeking to answer all questions on June 18th. Born Sinner is set for a release date that will rival Kanye’s heavily anticipated 6th solo album Yeezus and Mac Miller’s sophomore project Watching Movies with the Sound Off. This has the hip-hop community blithely awaiting for the day that could be talked about for years to come.

A quiet quandary still lurks in the air and fills up rooms when groups of people talk about J. Cole. I get it, there are doubters, but if there is one thing J. Cole is not, is a flop. His cameos, features, and singles have given fans a little something to hold onto but perhaps most of us are guilty of not giving him enough rope. He understands that as an artist, first and foremost, the output should be superlative and he should be at his best when putting out music for us to appreciate.

Fans gathered as the clock struck midnight and a huge line curved around 9th Avenue at 16th Street far from the doors of Highline Ballroom, everyone patiently waiting to hear what was on Cole’s mind. On a misty Tuesday night (early Wednesday morning), Elliott Wilson sat down with J. Cole for a thought provoking two hours and change. If there is one thing I took away from this interview it’s that young “Simba” has matured. Luckily, if you missed it, here are 10 interesting facts from last night’s CRWN interview.

10. Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt did not resonate with him. In that era, J. Cole was more of a Tupac fan.

9. Anticipating no radio play from Born Sinner’s promotional single Miss America, he says he put it out hoping it would get some air time because Work Out did well on the radio.

8. J. Cole was in attendance at Kanye West’s first SOB’s show in New York City. As he watched, he knew Kanye would become a legend.

7.  When asked about the album projections for Born Sinner v.s. Yeezus he says “I’m nervous and I’m scared and I have no clue.”

6. Cole feels like he has reached a point in his career where everyone feels like competition. “Like, nothing they do is out of my reach”, says J. Cole.

5. No features. Extra, extra, read all about it! No one is rapping on Born Sinner besides J. Cole himself.

4. Despite doing well on his first album, J. Cole admits he fumbled by not taking advice from Jay-Z or pursuing Jay’s opinion when it came to song selection.

3. This album was started from scratch, no recycled material, nothing pre-recorded. “My first album I had songs ready, this time I had nothing,” J. Cole shares with Wilson.

2. Cole got a good chunk of the album done in L.A. This might be irrelevant to some but those who are in the loop know how important it is for an artist to be in a comfortable environment when they get to work. Perhaps he found something in California that allowed him to fundamentally execute his creative process.

1. Confidently but amiably, Cole lets the audience know that all of the production on Born Sinner is his. That’s right folks, solo raps and solo production. Look out!

Virgilio Mendez (@REGULARGUYV)

Ibrahim “IB” Hamad Tells The Story of Dreamville in His Episode of J. Cole’s Born Sinner

cole-video“Theres a great idea in everything you start.”

Continue reading Ibrahim “IB” Hamad Tells The Story of Dreamville in His Episode of J. Cole’s Born Sinner

According To J. Cole, “I Disappointed Nas” Is Not The Name Of A Track On ‘Born Sinner’

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Even if he did, “I Disappointed Nas” won’t be on the ‘BS’ tracklist.

Emphasis on BS being short for Born Sinner, because from all indications, this album is going to define J. Cole‘s career thus far. In a quick chat with Soul Culture UK, J. Cole discredits the rumor, which brewed yesterday, that he has a track titled “I Disappointed Nas” on his sophomore album Born Sinner. In the short clip, Young Simba asks SCUK to put out the interview immediately, so Peter Rosenberg (who originally dropped the info on the song’s supposed title), and the general public would quickly do away with the rumor of the track’s title. The initial intel on the track came from Hot 97’s radio personality Peter Rosenberg, who said the subject matter on one of J. Cole’s tracks was centered around the fact that Nas called Cole after hearing one of Cole World: The Sideline Story‘s singles “Workout”, and being disappointed. Cole took the comment to heart, and expressed his feelings in a track on Born Sinner.

-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)

J. Cole Reveals TLC Feature on ‘Born Sinner’ & “I Disappointed Nas” Track


As the anticipation for June 18th continues to grow, J. Cole reveals some secrets…

J. Cole traveled to the UK to pay a visit to Charlie Sloth of BBC 1Xtra to promote his new album Born Sinner. The Roc Nation artist revealed a few things to expect on his sophomore effort. The first announcement was that TLC (Chilli and T-Boz) will appear on his June 18 release. Even bigger news is there will be no rap features on his album, so I guess you can say goodbye to your hopes of that Kendrick collab on this album.

“I got TLC on the album, yes T-Boz and Chilli…’s crazy. Nobody’s rapping on the album.”

Earlier today, Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg reported some info he got on a specific track on the album.

“Supposedly there’s a song on the J. Cole album called something along the lines of “I Disappointed Nas,” about how Nas supposedly reached out to J. Cole after he heard “Workout” and was like, “Nah, fam. I expected more from you than this.” And supposedly J. Cole gets really personal and has a whole song about how it felt to have disappointed, obviously, one of his heroes in music, Nas.”


Deep. This album is going to be very interesting.

– Shenae Craig (@xCurry08)

Editorial: Why Kanye West Will Outsell Both Mac Miller And J. Cole On June 18th

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Yeezus, Born Sinner & Watching Movies, in that order (bro).

This, in and of itself, is a tricky subject. The business of predicting album sales has become increasingly difficult, as the complexity with which artists and labels lead their campaigns continues to develop. With no mainstream hit, one music video, and no gimmicky promotion scheme, how did Kendrick Lamar take the charts by storm, hitting the quarter-million mark in seven days? Or how about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who’ve never signed the proverbial or physical dotted line in an office frequented by label executives, going eight times platinum, and having their debut album The Heist certified gold. Why has it become more difficult? Because French Montana, who has been working towards his May 21st release date for–oh, I don’t know, give or take FIVE years–will probably not even crack the 100k mark, despite having the powerful Bad Boy, MMG and Interscope engines behind him.

Let’s set a premise. Mac Miller is going to sell records. That’s a given. Rostrum proved themselves a viable highway to traffic his Most Dope sound in 2011 when he posted a buck-fifty first week sales mark, and 2 years later, with a record breaking MTV show, an amazing lead single and a cult following behind him, he may very nearly double it. Unfortunately for him, here’s why he’ll be looking up at Kanye & J. Cole on June 26, when the official numbers are released.

Here’s another premise. J. Cole is the people’s champ. The complete antithesis of what Kanye West represents actually, and we’ll get to that. In a nutshell, he’s a college kid from North Carolina who waltzed into Jay-Z’s office with what probably were remnants of Oreo crumbs and Juicy Juice in his peach fuzz, and all but demanded a deal. Sure, America does love an underdog, which could also apply to Mac Miller. But no one ever gave J. Cole a chance. You think Mac’s an underdog? He’s platinum on the small screen. He was making cameo appearances on BET before anyone knew he wasn’t Justin Bieber’s brother. He’s no longer the underdog, people are now EXPECTING Mac Miller to succeed. He’s getting sued by Donald Trump because 80 million people watched his video, which borrowed ol’ Donald’s name. 80 MILLION PEOPLE. J. Cole on the other hand is still getting ridiculed because people type in “J. Cole & Jay-Z” on, and no results match their search query. It took him 3 tries to find a lead single that stuck on his debut album, and he’s labeled the most talented boring rapper in the industry. Finally, in 2013, he’s got probably the best rap single to drop this year (we said best, not hottest Aubrey), and a new confidence after dodging all the pitfalls of CW:TSS. He’s not going to need all kinds of other notoriety to sell records, he, like Mac Miller, has a cult following. The Dreamvillain nation has proved time and time again that if its up to them, Jermaine will always be afloat. Furthermore, considering the roller coaster ride Cole took them on in 2011, and they still made him the #1 selling artist of the week, imagine this year when he’s got a roll-out twice as strong. I see 350k in his future and that’s no reach.

Now, the third and final premise. Kanye West is rap. Like it or not. J. Cole and Mac Miller are attempting to take down King Kong from the skyscraper with way less than flying choppers and a few machine guns. Commend them for their gutsy thinking and willingness to place their paintings on the same wall as Mr. West’s (after all, you can’t be the best without beating the best), but this is Lebron planting his pivot foot right in front of Paul George and taking off for a game-winning lay-up in 2.2 seconds. Sure, as the ball was in-bounded it seemed as if young Paulie was in a position to stop the perennial MVP from getting to the rim, but when James landed back on the court after watching the ball slide through the net, we knew what it was. You could tell by the way he looked into the crowd, he wasn’t elated, he wasn’t overly excited, he was content. The DJ should’ve cued Lil’ Wayne’s “Curtains”, right at the chorus, when the former Mountain Dew endorsement artist belts out “I swear to God I ain’t nervous”. Everything Kanye does at this point defines a new wave of change and critic in pop culture. To have a crowd of 1,000 people gather around a building in Singapore to watch your projected face rap on a Friday night, no underdog is going to knock you off your throne. Best case scenario for the Pittsburgh kid: At the top of the following week, he’s in an 8th round war of attrition with Cole for second place, but the chances of that are as slim as Paris Hilton. And slimmer than the chances her YMCMB album gets purchased by anyone over 135 lbs. See you on the 18th.

-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)

Best Hip-Hop Performances on Late Night TV


J. Cole took the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon stage Tuesday night to perform his “Power Trip” single, off his forthcoming sophomore studio album Born Sinner.  Cole’s mellow vibe was juxtaposed by the multicolored, leather sweater and gleaming watch, which he adorned.  Never-the-less, Cole delivered a stellar performance and, as usual, was backed by the live instrumentation of the “legendary” Roots Crew.

Fallon’s late night show has become somewhat of a proving ground for hip-hop artists.  The show has elevated the careers of many of hip-hop’s brightest stars, including Tyler the Creator, Jaden Smith, and most recently J. Cole. Vets have also graced the stage: Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and more.

Late night talk shows have always been a great way for artists to increase their exposure to a national audience. And artists have been known to give their best performances on the “big” stage. Here are some of hip-hop’s most memorable performances on late night programming.


J. Cole Performs “Power Trip” on Jimmy Fallon

With The Roots backing him, J. Cole belted out the fan favorite, “Power Trip.”

This single is off of his upcoming album, Born Sinner, which drops June 18th. in a recent interview with Billboard Magazine, he revealed that dropping on the same day as Kanye West was planned.

We’re looking forward to what he has in store for Born Sinner’s release.