“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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