Music Business

VIDEO: Rapper J. Cole Appears on The Tavis Smiley Show, Talks Hit Album ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ & More!


TavisSmileyJCole“Widely considered one of the “most talented storytellers of the new hip-hop generation,” J. Cole has managed to become the rare artist who has maintained his integrity as a contemplative lyricist while also achieving consistent commercial success. Born Jermaine Lamarr Cole on a U.S. Army base in Frankfurt, Germany, his early musical influences include Michael Jackson, 2Pac, and Ice Cube.

J. Cole made his first song on a beat machine at 15 years old. A superb student, Cole attended St. John’s University on an academic scholarship, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. His career breakthrough came when he got his demo into the hands of hip-hop powerhouse Jay-Z, who would later ask Cole to record a 37-second verse on “A Star Is Born” from Jay-Z’s album, “The Blueprint 3.” J. Cole then became the first artist to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. He then released two gold-selling albums—2011’s “Cole World: The Sideline Story” and 2013’s “Born Sinner” — both backed by platinum-selling singles, “Work Out” and “Power Trip,” respectively. He is currently on a three-part, 64 city tour for his third studio album “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” which also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart.”

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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