J. Cole the Changing Face of Hip-Hop

J. Cole

The Changing Face of Hip Hop


Hip-Hops latest star is one of the leading lights of change in the genre. Unlike a lot of hip-hop around, J. Coles latest album ‘Crooked Smile’ has a positive message about loving yourself.

 See J. Cole live at the Eventim Apollo on Sunday 01 December 2013.

“It’s definitely a good message, without being cheesy,” Cole insists.

“I’m shining a flashlight on one of my biggest flaws and using it as a way of making other people not feel so bad about whatever their flaw is. It gives people the opportunity to feel like all that doesn’t matter. Cos it doesn’t, actually. We make it matter as a society.”

Tickets on sale from 9am Friday 27 September: Buy J. Cole tickets here

Jermaine Cole was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to parents stationed in the military before moving to North Carolina eight months later, where he was raised by his mother. He fell in love with rap at a young age and recalls covering his walls with posters of Kool Moe Dee.

He moved to New York to attend college, believing it to be the best place for him to try to break into hip-hop, gaining a degree in communication and business from St John’s University in the meantime.

After college, Cole’s 2007 debut mixtape, The Come Up, caught the attention of Jay-Z who made Cole his first signing to Roc Nation in 2009. His first album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, was released and debuted at No 1 on the US Billboard 200 in 2011.

J Cole was immediately declared as the next superstar MC, one who was part of a new wave of rappers, along with the likes of Kanye and Drake, who over the past decade had turned their backs on the gangsta bravado that had dominated hip-hop.

“I have a perspective that no other rapper can really express,” he points out. “A lot of rappers are still caught up in trying to portray such a hardcore image: either drug-dealing or something gang-related. And I just went totally left of that.”

“The advantage is that there are so many kids out there who relate to my story more than theirs; or the story they’re trying to tell. But I can still reach the drug-dealers, cause I can easily tell those stories too, because those are my friends. I know them just like I know the college kids.”

J. Cole’s ‘What Dreams May Come’ UK tour will begin on Sunday 01 December at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.


Tickets on sale from 9am Friday 27 September: Buy J. Cole tickets here


Via [The Independent]

About Adam French

I write about all of our upcoming events, plus features, competitions, playlists and anything else I feel like.

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