All aboard the hype train for Bonnaroo 2022! Only 20 days until we are all on the Farm again. Today’s Artist of the Day is the one and only J. Cole. Learn more about the artist below. Don’t forget to check out all of our artist spotlights! Check back in with us tomorrow for our next Artist of the Day Feature!
J. Cole is arguably the most commercially successful rapper of the 2010s with numerous chart-topping and platinum albums in addition to his Grammy nominations. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany and was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He got into hip-hop after listening to his step-father’s copy of 2Pacalypse Now which led Cole to explore many artists including 2Pac, Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., and Jay-Z. He went to St. John’s University in New York City on an academic scholarship while also building on his musical talents in the big city. Cole spent numerous days outside Jay-Z’s office until he finally ran into the legend who asked Cole to contribute to The Blueprint 3 on the track “A Star Is Born.” With only one mixtape under his belt, Cole got signed with Roc Nation and released two tapes under the label in 2010, The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights. The next year he released his official debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story which debuted on top of the Billboard 200 with the single “Work Out” becoming a Top 40 pop hit reaching number 13 and going double platinum. Cole’s next album Born Sinner came in 2013 with top hits “Crooked Smile” and “Power Trip” which was nominated at the Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. His next album 2014 Forest Hills Drive continued his streak of number one albums in 2014 and got a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. The album had a distribution deal with Interscope that helped grow Cole’s label Dreamville which supported albums from Bas, Cozz, and Omen. When Cole released his fourth album 4 Your Eyez Only in 2016, his previous three albums all had gone platinum with ten charting Billboard Hot 100 singles among them. This album continued the streak of chart-toppers with all of its songs entering the Billboard Hot 100. This was his least pop-oriented work at the time. In 2018, Cole released KOD which was a darker album focusing on subjects like mental health, drug dependency, and greed. It topped the charts on release. In 2019, he released “Middle Child” as part of the third volume of Revenge of the Dreamers which was also Grammy-nominated. His sixth album from 2021 The Off-Season was also Grammy-nominated and had guest appearances from Morray, 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Bas, and 6lack.
Rapper, Hip-Hop, Hitmaker
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