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'''Jermaine Lamarr Cole''' (born January 28, 1985), better known by his [[stage name]] '''J. Cole''', is an American [[Hip hop music|hip hop]] [[recording artist]], [[songwriter]] and [[record producer]] from [[Fayetteville, North Carolina]]. Cole first received recognition in 2007, following the release of his debut [[mixtape]] ''The Come Up''. Shortly after the release of ''The Come Up'', Cole was contacted by American rapper [[Jay-Z]] and subsequently signed to his record label [[Roc Nation]], in 2009. In that same year, Cole released his second mixtape, ''[[The Warm Up]]'', which was itself followed by Cole's third mixtape, ''[[Friday Night Lights (mixtape)|Friday Night Lights]]'', in 2010.


His debut album, ''[[Cole World: The Sideline Story]]'', was released on September 27, 2011. The album debuted at number one on the [[Billboard 200|US ''Billboard'' 200]], [[R&B/Hip-Hop Albums|Top R&B Albums]] and [[Top Rap Albums]] chart, selling more than 218,000 in its first week. He received a nomination for [[Best New Artist]] at the [[54th Grammy Awards]]. Cole's second album, ''[[Born Sinner]]'', was released on June 18, 2013. The album debuted at number two on the [[Billboard 200|''Billboard'' 200]], however, ''Born Sinner'' later rose to number one, giving Cole his second number one on the chart. His third album, ''[[2014 Forest Hills Drive]]'', was released on December 9, 2014 and also debuted at number one on the ''Billboard'' 200, giving Cole his third number one album.


==Early life==

Cole was born in the [[List of United States Army installations in Germany|97th General Hospital]] at a [[United States Army]] base in [[Frankfurt]], [[West Germany]].<ref>Trent Fitzgerald, [http://popcrush.com/j-cole-celebrates-27th-birthday/ J. Cole Celebrates His 27th Birthday In New York City]. popcrush.com. 27 January 2012.</ref><ref name="Fay Ob">{{cite web|last=Ramsey|first=John|title=J. Cole: Fayetteville is the roots of his rap|url=http://fayobserver.com/articles/2011/10/09/1127955|work=Fayetteville Observer|accessdate=June 15, 2013|date=October 10, 2011}}</ref>  His father is [[African-American]] and served in the [[United States Army]],<ref name="allhiphop 2009">{{cite web|last=Einhorn|first=Zack|title=J. Cole: Roc Nation’s Young Gun|url=http://allhiphop.com/2009/06/15/j-cole-roc-nations-young-gun/|work=AllHipHop.com|accessdate=November 20, 2011|date=June 15, 2009}}</ref> and his mother is [[German people|German]].<ref name="Flavmag">{{cite web|last=Allen|first=Annika|title=J Cole: Life and Beats|url=http://www.flavourmag.co.uk/j-cole-life-and-beats/|publisher=Flavour Magazine|accessdate=17 November 2012}}</ref> At the age of 8 months, Cole relocated to [[Fayetteville, North Carolina|Fayetteville]], [[North Carolina]], where he was raised by his mother, aunt and cousin. His father left the family when Cole was still young.<ref name="Flavmag"/> He has an older brother named Zach Cole.<ref>{{cite web|last=Muhammad|first=Latifah|title=J. Cole Announces New Album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive|url=http://www.bet.com/news/music/2014/11/17/j-cole-announces-new-album-2014-forest-hills-drive.html}}</ref>


Cole started rapping at the age of 12, becoming serious about it at the age of 15. He hooked up with a local group called Bomm Sheltuh, which included rappers Nervous Reck and FilthE Ritch. Around this time he added [[record production]] to his repertoire and his stage name was Therapist.<ref>{{Cite journal | last = Markman | first = Rob| title = Hand It Down | publisher = [[XXL Magazine]]|date=October 2009| page = 58 | postscript = <!-- Bot inserted parameter. Either remove it; or change its value to "." for the cite to end in a ".", as necessary. -->{{inconsistent citations}} }}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.complex.com/music/2013/06/25-things-you-didnt-know-about-j-cole/bomm-sheltuh |title=As a teenager in Fayetteville, J. Cole was down with a rap duo called Bomm Sheltuh. — 25 Things You Didn't Know About J. Cole |publisher=Complex |date=2013-06-10 |accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>


Cole grew up in a multi-ethnic environment.<ref name="Vibes">{{cite web|last=Kemp|first=Mark|title=CD Review: J. Cole, "Cole World: The Sideline Story"|url=http://m.clclt.com/vibes/archives/2011/10/12/cd-review-j-cole-cole-world-the-sideline-story|publisher=Vibes|accessdate=17 November 2012}}</ref> His childhood revolved around a love for both basketball and rap music. He attended [[Terry Sanford High School]] and decided to study guitar under the well-known artist Mark Ebert. Cole graduated from high school in 2003. He concluded that he had a better chance of getting a record deal in [[New York City]], so he chose to attend [[St. John's University (New York City)|St. John's University]] on an academic scholarship. There, he majored in communication and minored in business, graduating ''[[magna cum laude]]''.<ref name="German Rhymes" >{{cite web|title=GermanRhymes.de – Interview with J. Cole|url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oovaKXIttoo|publisher=GermanRhymes|accessdate=April 18, 2011}}</ref><ref>Stephanie Wash (September 19, 2009). [http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/cole-jay-zs-protege-attended-college-closer-idol/story?id=8605048 Jay-Z Protege J. Cole Takes Unusual Path to Stardom]. ABC News.</ref>


On his [[mixed-race]] background, Cole indicated in an October 2011 issue of the hip-hop magazine ''[[XXL (magazine)|XXL]]'':


{{cquote|I can identify with White people, because I know my mother, her side of the family, who I love. I've had White friends. I know people from high school that I might not have hung out with outside of high school, but I think I got to know them pretty well, so I know they sense of humor. But at the end of the day, I never felt White. I don't know what that feels like. I can identify. But never have I felt like I'm one of them. Not that I wanted to, or tried to, but it just was what it was. I identify more with what I look like, because that's how I got treated. Not necessarily in a negative way. But when you get pulled over by the police, I can't pull out my half-White card. Or if I just meet you on the street you're not gonna be like, "This guy seems half-White."<ref name="Boxdxxl">{{cite web|title=J. Cole: "I Never Felt White. I Don't Know What That Feels Like"|url=http://slumz.boxden.com/f87/j-cole-i-never-felt-white-i-dont-know-what-feels-like-1621284/|publisher=Boxden|accessdate=17 November 2012}}</ref>}}


==Musical career==


===2005–08: Career beginnings===

Cole started [[rapping]] at the age of 12, after receiving guidance from his cousin on the basics of rhyming and word play. Inspired mostly by rappers [[Canibus]] and [[Eminem]], Cole developed a love for telling stories in his lyrics.<ref>[http://www.rapbasement.com/j-cole/051810-j-cole-says-he-was-inspired-by-eminem-and-canibus-in-his-early-days-watch-here-click-now.html J Cole Inspired By Eminem & Canibus (Video)] RapBasement</ref> By age 14, Cole had notebooks filled with rhymes, but no beats of his own to record them with. His mother bought him an [[Roland TR-808|808 beat machine]] so he could produce music himself. By the age of 17, he was posting songs on various [[internet forum]]s under the moniker "Therapist"<ref>[http://www.lattisawtapes.com/2011/05/j-cole-aka-therapist.html/ J COLE: Bref Control, May 2011]{{dead link|date=October 2011}}</ref> Cole stood outside of [[Jay-Z]]’s Roc the Mic Studio for three hours in order to give him a beat called "On Top of the World" in which he sampled [[Idris Muhammad]], so that his mentor-to-be could use it. However, when Jay-Z came out of his building he shunned the up-and-coming rapper.<ref name=NardwuarServiette>{{cite web|last=NardwuarServiette|first=NardwuarServiette|title=Nardwuar vs. J. Cole|url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4pDb1Tj9b8&feature=related|work=youtube|publisher=GrimeDaily|accessdate=January 10, 2011}}</ref> Soon after graduating, Cole released his first [[mixtape]], ''[[The Come Up]]'' (2007). The mixtape was well received but wasn't followed by significant recognition.


===2009–10: Mixtapes and Roc Nation signing===

{{main|The Warm Up|Friday Night Lights (mixtape)}}


He released his second mixtape, ''[[The Warm Up]]'', on June 15, 2009 to positive reviews. Cole appeared on [[Jay-Z]]'s album ''[[The Blueprint 3]]'' (2009), on the track "A Star Is Born."<ref>[http://www.rapbasement.com/jay-z/081909-jay-z-back-cover-tracklist-for-his-new-blueprint-3-leaks.html J.Cole to appear on Blueprint 3]. Rap Basement. Retrieved on 2009-08-18</ref> He is featured on both [[Wale (rapper)|Wale]]'s debut album, ''[[Attention Deficit (album)|Attention Deficit]]'' (2009) and mixtape ''[[Back to the Feature]]'' (2009) respectively.<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmDAWHhysw J. Cole at Berlin – Last Call]. Youtube.com (2011-01-22). Retrieved on 2012-09-17.</ref> In January 2010, Cole, along with label mate [[Jay Electronica]] and [[Mos Def]] appeared on [[Talib Kweli]] and [[Hi-Tek]]'s single, "Just Begun" for the follow-up of [[Reflection Eternal]]'s album ''[[Train of Thought (Reflection Eternal album)|Train of Thought]]'' (2000), titled ''[[Revolutions per Minute (Reflection Eternal album)|Revolutions Per Minute]]'' (2010).<ref>[http://www.thatsthatish.com/2010/01/reflection-eternal-just-begun-feat-jay.html Reflection Eternal – "Just Begun" feat. Jay Electronica, J. Cole, & Mos Def]. thatsthatish.com (January 2010)</ref> Cole also appeared on [[B.o.B]]'s mixtape ''[[May 25th (mixtape)|May 25th]]'' (2010) on the song "Gladiators".<ref>{{cite web|author=VoodooChild |url=http://www.thatsthatish.com/2010/02/j-cole-knock-on-wood-x-gladiators-w-bob.html |title=J. Cole – "Knock On Wood" X "Gladiators" w/ B.o.B |publisher=Thatsthatish.com |date=2011-04-20 |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref>


In early 2010, Cole was chosen as one of ''[[Beyond Race]] Magazine'''s "50 Great Breakthrough Artists," he ranked 49, resulting in the cover story of the publication's #11 issue, as well as a Q&A for the magazine's site.<ref>[http://beyondrace.com/articles/features/2245-j-cole J. Cole || beyondrace.com]{{dead link|date=October 2011}}</ref> He was also featured in [[XXL magazine]] 2010 version of Top Ten Freshmen. J. Cole began a college tour from March 19, 2010 to April 30, 2010 concluding in New Brunswick, NJ at Rutgers University's annual Rutgersfest. The tour also featured a stop at Syracuse University for a show with fellow rapper, [[Wiz Khalifa]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.dailyorange.com/feature/rapper-wiz-khalifa-set-to-perform-at-su-after-incarceration-1.1815889 |title=Rapper Wiz Khalifa set to perform at SU after incarceration – Feature |publisher=The Daily Orange |date=2010-12-02 |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref> On March 31, he performed a new song titled "[[Who Dat (J. Cole song)|Who Dat]]" and released the song as a single on April 30, 2010.<ref>{{cite web|author=VoodooChild |url=http://www.thatsthatish.com/2010/04/j-cole-who-dat.html |title=J. Cole: 'Who Dat' |publisher=Thatsthatish.com |date=2010-04-27 |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref> Cole was also featured on [[Young Chris]]' song "Still the Hottest" as well as [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel's]] debut single "[[All I Want Is You (Miguel song)|All I Want Is You]]."<ref>{{cite web|author=VoodooChild |url=http://www.thatsthatish.com/2010/04/j-cole-still-hottest-wyoung-chris-x-all.html |title=That's That...: J. Cole – "Still The Hottest" (w/Young Chris) x "All I Want Is You" (w/ Miguel) |publisher=Thatsthatish.com |date= |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref> Additionally, Cole was featured on titled "We On", a song that failed to make final tracklist for [[DJ Khaled]]'s ''[[Victory (DJ Khaled album)|Victory]]'' [[LP record|LP]].<ref>{{cite web|author=VoodooChild |url=http://www.thatsthatish.com/2010/04/j-cole-we-on.html |title=J. Cole – "We On" |publisher=Thatsthatish.com |date= |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref>


To celebrate the anniversary of the release of ''[[The Warm Up]]'' mixtape, J. Cole released a freestyle entitled "The Last Stretch" on June 15, 2010. On June 21 of that year, J. Cole premiered the music video to his first single "Who Dat" on the [[Black Entertainment Television|BET]] program ''[[106 & Park]]''.<ref>{{cite web|title=Tune in to BET's 106 & Park TODAY 6:00 PM EST to see J. Cole debut the "Who Dat" video!|url=https://www.facebook.com/JColeMusic/posts/126677024036692|publisher=Facebook|accessdate=August 11, 2012|date=June 21, 2010}}</ref>  In August 2010 J. Cole, was awarded the UMA Male Artist of the Year thanks to his heralded ''The Warm Up'' mixtape and a high profile deal with Jay-Z's label Roc Nation at the 2010 Underground Music Awards. In a July 2010 interview, J. Cole revealed three songs that would appear on his debut album: "Dreams", "Won't Be Long", and "Never Told"; which was produced by [[No I.D.]]<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.jcole.org/2010/video-j-cole-speaks-on-final-album-selections/ |title=J. Cole reveals Debut Album Song Titles |publisher=Jcole.org |accessdate=2011-10-12|date=July 8, 2010}}</ref> On October 30, 2010, a demo titled "I'm Coming Home" was leaked onto the internet. Cole recorded the song as a reference track for [[Sean Combs|Diddy]], which later became "[[Coming Home (Diddy-Dirty Money song)|Coming Home]]" off ''[[Last Train to Paris]]'' (2010).<ref>{{cite web|author=VoodooChild |url=http://www.thatsthatish.com/2010/10/j-cole-im-coming-home-demo.html |title=J. Cole - "I'm Coming Home (Demo)," thatsthatish.com |publisher=" thatsthatish.com |date=2010-10-30 |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref> On November 12, 2010, J. Cole released his third official mixtape titled ''[[Friday Night Lights (mixtape)|Friday Night Lights]]''.<ref>{{cite web|last=|first=|title=DOWNLOAD "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS"!|url=http://www.jcolemusic.com/news/download-friday-night-lights|work=|publisher=JColeMusic|accessdate=May 19, 2011}}</ref> The tape included features from [[Drake (rapper)|Drake]], [[Wale (rapper)|Wale]] and Omen with most of the production being handled by Cole himself.


===2010–11: ''Cole World: The Sideline Story''===

{{main|Cole World: The Sideline Story}}

[[File:J.ColeLondon2011.jpg|thumb|200px|left|upright|Cole performing in London, 2011.]]


Cole served as a [[supporting act]] for Drake on the Light Dreams and Nightmares UK Tour, January 5–21, 2011. In April 2011, "[[HiiiPoWeR]]", a song Cole produced for [[Kendrick Lamar]]'s ''[[Section.80]]'' (2011) was released. The single was the first of many collaborations to come from the two. On May 22, 2011, J. Cole released a song entitled "Return of Simba," the third in the "Simba series" following "Simba" and "Grown Simba."<ref name="Return Of Simba - J Cole">[http://www.mostlyjunkfood.com/j-cole-return-of-simba/ J. Cole – Return of Simba] Mostly Junkfood</ref> Cole purposely avoided releasing his debut album’s title for fear of inconsistency, only announcing that [[Jay-Z]] would be featured on his debut album.<ref name=GrimeDaily>{{cite web|title=GRIME DAILY MEETS J. COLE [INTERVIEW 2011]|url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4pDb1Tj9b8&feature=related|publisher=GrimeDaily|accessdate=January 10, 2011}}</ref> Cole then released his follow-up single to "Who Dat", the album's [[lead single]], "[[Work Out (song)|Work Out]]" on June 15, 2011, in honor of the second anniversary of his highly acclaimed mixtape ''[[The Warm Up]]''.<ref>[http://www.missinfo.tv/index.php/j-cole-delivers-the-first-single-work-out-off-his-upcoming-debut-album/ J. Cole Debuts His First Single “Work Out”, Off His Upcoming Debut Album] ''MissInfo.tv''</ref> The song, produced by Cole himself, [[Sampling (music)|samples]] "[[The New Workout Plan]]" by Kanye West and [[Interpolation (music)|interpolates]] "[[Straight Up (Paula Abdul song)|Straight Up]]" by [[Paula Abdul]].<ref>[http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/101875/J.%20Cole-Work%20Out_Kanye%20West-The%20New%20Workout%20Plan/ J. Cole's Work Out sample of Kanye West's The New Workout Plan] ''WhoSampled''</ref><ref>[http://www.whosampled.com/sample/view/101874/J.%20Cole-Work%20Out_Paula%20Abdul-Straight%20Up/ J. Cole's Work Out sample of Paula Abdul's Straight Up] ''WhoSampled''</ref> The song later became a [[hit single]], topping several music charts.


On July 31, J. Cole took to Twitter to announce ''Any Given Sunday'', reminiscent of [[Kanye West]]'s [[G.O.O.D. Fridays]], a weekly free music [[Gratis|giveaway]]. J. Cole wrote "Every Sunday til the album drops I’ll be back with something. Maybe just 1 song, maybe a video, depending on how I’m feeling." For the 3rd installment of his Sunday series, "Any Given Sunday", J. Cole hopped on Ustream to update fans about the album and play some tracks that didn't make the cut. On August 15, the music video for "Work Out" premiered on YouTube, Vevo and 106 & Park. On August 22, Cole released his debut album's cover art, designed by Alex Haldi for Bestest Asbestos, whom J. Cole recorded a song for titled "Killers", for Haldi's mixtape ''The Glorification of Gangster''.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://lifepulseblog.com/2011/03/15/dope-project-alert-the-glorification-of-gangster-art-exhibit/ |title=DOPE PROJECT ALERT: The Glorification Of Gangster Art Exhibit « LIFE Pulse Blog |publisher=Lifepulseblog.com |date=2011-05-12|accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref> For the fourth installment, on August 29, he released his debut album's track list, once again through Twitter.<ref>[http://www.2dopeboyz.com/2011/08/29/j-cole-cole-world-the-sideline-story-tracklist/ J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story (Tracklist)] 2DopeBoyz.com</ref>


On August 30, after an unfinished version had previously [[Internet leak|leaked]], "[[Can't Get Enough (J. Cole song)|Can't Get Enough]]" featuring R&B singer [[Trey Songz]] was released as the album's second single. While in [[Barbados]] for his last performance as the official opening act for [[Rihanna]]'s [[Loud Tour]], Cole shot the music video for "Can't Get Enough", with Songz and Rihanna, who provided a cameo while in her homeland.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://vibe.com/photo-galleries/peep-rihanna-hangs-out-j-cole-and-trey-songz-cant-get-enough-shoot |title=Peep This: Rihanna Hangs Out With J. Cole And Trey Songz At The 'Can't Get Enough' Shoot |publisher=VIBE |date=2011-10-08 |accessdate=2011-10-12}}</ref> The video, directed by Clifton Bell, was released on September 14, 2011. In addition early on September 25, two days before his album's release, Cole released a music video for the iTunes bonus track "Daddy's Little Girl".


''[[Cole World: The Sideline Story]]'' was released September 27, 2011 debuting at number one on the US [[Billboard 200|''Billboard'' 200]] chart, with 218,000 copies in its first-week of sales.<ref name="BB200">{{Cite news|url=http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/466817/j-cole-debuts-at-no-1-on-billboard-200-blink-182-snags-no-2|title=J. Cole Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200, Blink-182 Snags No. 2|date=October 5, 2011|first=Keith|last=Caulfield|work=[[Billboard (magazine)|Billboard]]|publisher=[[Prometheus Global Media]]|accessdate=October 5, 2011}}</ref> As of December 2, 2011, the album was certified gold by the [[Recording Industry Association of America]] (RIAA) for shipments and sales of 500,000 copies.<ref>{{cite web|last=Horowitz |first=Steven J. |url=http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.17819/title.j-cole-receives-gold-certification-for-cole-world-the-sideline-story |title=J. Cole Receives Gold Certification For "Cole World: The Sideline Story" &#124; Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales |publisher=HipHopDX |date=2011-12-02 |accessdate=2012-07-10}}</ref> On February 7, 2012 the third and final single from Cole's debut album was released. The song, titled [[Nobody's Perfect (J. Cole song)|Nobody's Perfect]]", features renowned female rapper [[Missy Elliott]], marking her return to music.


===2011–13: ''Born Sinner''===

{{main|Born Sinner}}


On October 24, 2011, during an interview with Hot 106’s Rise & Grind morning show, Cole revealed he had begun working on his second studio album, with hopes of releasing it in June 2012. He had also stated that the album would consist of songs that failed to make his debut: "I don’t know how many, but I got songs that didn't make the last album that are automatically going to make this one,” he said, revealing the release date. “June. End of June, maybe June."<ref>Steven J. Horowitz, [http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.17358/title.j-cole-says-his-sophomore-album-will-arrive-in-june-2012 J. Cole Says His Sophomore Album Will Arrive In June 2012]. hiphopdx.com. 24 October 2011.</ref> On November 6, 7 and 8, Cole was the supporting act for [[Tinie Tempah]], appearing at [[Bournemouth International Centre]]; [[Liverpool Echo Arena]], [[Motorpoint Arena Cardiff]], [[Cardiff]], [[Wales]]; [[LG Arena (Birmingham)|LG Arena]], [[Birmingham]], [[England]]; [[SECC Arena]], [[Glasgow]], Scotland; and [[MEN Arena]], [[Manchester]]. J. Cole was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2012 Grammys but lost to [[Bon Iver]].


J. Cole played for the Eastern Team in the 2012 [[NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game]]. On February 24, 2012 J. Cole reached two million followers on Twitter, he celebrated by releasing the song "Grew Up Fast."<ref>[http://hiphop2day.com/j-cole-grew-up-fast/] {{dead link|date=June 2013}}</ref> On March 1, 2012, J. Cole returned to his home town, [[Fayetteville, North Carolina]]. To celebrate his return he released the song "Visionz of Home" and launched an event titled "Dreamville Weekend" to inspire the youth of his hometown to achieve great things.<ref>[http://rapfix.mtv.com/2012/03/02/j-cole-dreamville-weekend-north-carolina/ J. Cole Returns To North Carolina For 'Dreamville Weekend']. rapfix.mtv.com. 2 March 2012.</ref> J. Cole performed for the first time in Africa during the [[Big Brother Africa 7]] opening ceremony on 6 May 2012, alongside [[Camp Mulla]], [[P-Square]], [[Naeto C]], [[Flavour N'abania]], [[Davido]] and Aemo E'Face.<ref>{{cite news |title=J Cole To Perform At Big Brother Africa Launch |url=http://www.momix.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=756:j-cole-to-perform-at-big-brother-africa-launch&catid=41:news&Itemid=69 |publisher=momix.co.za |date=13 March 2012 |accessdate=1 May 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Namibia: J Cole to Perform at Big Brother Africa |url=http://allafrica.com/stories/201203140184.html |publisher=allAfrica.com |date=14 March 2012 |accessdate=1 May 2012}}</ref>


On May 14, J.Cole announced that he is working on a collaborative album with [[Kendrick Lamar]] saying in an interview with Bootleg Kev that "I just started working with Kendrick the other day. We got it in, finally, again. We got maybe four or five [songs] together." The project will be more focused on and released once ''Born Sinner'' is released.<ref name="www.hiphopdx.com">{{cite web|title = Kendrick Lamar Says Word Of Mouth Helped Album Sales, Refers To Shyne As Being A "Good Dude"|url =http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.21931/title.kendrick-lamar-says-word-of-mouth-helped-album-sales-refers-to-shyne-as-being-a-good-dude|publisher =Hiphopdx.com |date =|accessdate = 19 November 2012 }}</ref> On July 26, he returned to Twitter after a 100-day absence and went on to reveal and release his new song "The Cure" in where he hints at a new album. On October 20, he announced at a live show that his second album is complete and he's waiting until after Lamar releases ''[[good kid, m.A.A.d city]]'' to reveal it.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.allcitychessclub.net/2012/10/video-j-cole-performs-new-verses-live.html |title=Video: J. Cole Performs New Verses Live In Hollywood ~ All City Chess Club |publisher=Allcitychessclub.net |date=2012-10-20 |accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>


On November 5, Cole revealed the title of his second album, ''[[Born Sinner (album)|Born Sinner]], ''as well as a scheduled release date of January 28, 2013, via [[ustream]].<ref>{{cite web|url=https://twitter.com/JColeNC/status/265664751957327872|title=J. Cole on Twitter|work=Twitter}}</ref> On November 13, 2012, Cole released a promotional single for the album entitled [[Miss America (J. Cole song)|"Miss America."]]<ref name=autogenerated1>{{cite web  | last =  | first =  | title = J. Cole "Miss America" Single Cover Art| url = http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.21850/title.j-cole-miss-america-single-cover-art | publisher =Hiphopdx.com  | date =  | accessdate = 13 November 2012 }}</ref> Cole stated he hoped "Miss America" would shift music in a different direction, adding that he knew it wouldn't be a big radio hit. He elaborated further, saying, "To me, 'Miss America' shifts things a little bit, it changes the conversation it takes it in a more aggressive direction, more raw, more [[social commentary]]... Any type of commentary is good compared to what a normal single is these days. That's my aim, is to shift culture slightly, change the conversation. Nobody expects that for your first single."<ref>{{cite web  | last =  | first = |title = AMAs 2012: Watch Red Carpet Videos With J. Cole, Linkin Park + More - American Music Awards| url = http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/474094/amas-2012-watch-red-carpet-videos-with-j-cole-linkin-park-more | publisher =Billboard.com  | date =  | accessdate = 19 November 2012 }}</ref> The song would not go on to make the cut for the standard edition of ''Born Sinner''. However, it would be featured on the deluxe edition of the album, alongside five other tracks which collectively created'' Truly Yours 3'', the third member of the ''Truly Yours'' trilogy.


On December 31, 2012, Cole revealed that ''[[Born Sinner]]'' would not be released on January 28, 2013, as previously expected. Cole said that he, "needed a little more time than that to get things done." On February 14, 2013, he released the artwork for the first single via [[Instagram]]. "[[Power Trip (J. Cole song)|Power Trip]]" was released on February 14, 2013, marking Cole's second collaboration with [[R&B]] [[recording artist]], [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]]. Following the originally planned release date of January 28, 2013, Cole had announced a set release date of June 25, 2013 for ''Born Sinner''. However, when it was announced that Kanye West's ''[[Yeezus]]'' would be released just one week earlier on June 18, Cole moved the release date of ''Born Sinner ''up a week in order to compete with West, later commenting, "This is art, and I can't compete against the [[Kanye West]] celebrity and the status that he's earned just from being a genius," Cole added. "But I can put my name in the hat and tell you that I think my album is great and you be the judge and you decide."<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1709365/j-cole-kanye-west-born-sinner-yeezus-competition.jhtml|title=J. Cole Went Head-To-Head With Kanye Because ‘My Album Is Great’|work=MTV News}}</ref>


''[[Born Sinner]]'' sold 297,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, debuting at number two on the ''Billboard'' 200 chart, finishing approximately 30,000 copies short of [[Kanye West]]'s ''[[Yeezus]]''.<ref>{{cite web|author=Dan Hyman |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/j-coles-new-album-im-all-the-way-inspired-20130502 |title=J. Cole's New Album: 'I'm All the Way Inspired' &#124; Music News |publisher=Rolling Stone |date=2013-05-02 |accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref> As of September 19, 2013, the album has sold 599,000 copies in the United States.<ref>{{cite web|last=Tardio |first=Andres |url=http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.25486/title.j-cole-comments-on-born-sinner-outselling-kanye-west-s-yeezus- |title=J. Cole Comments On "Born Sinner" Outselling Kanye West's "Yeezus" |publisher=HipHop DX |date=2013-09-19 |accessdate=2013-09-24}}</ref> He released three more singles in support of the album, "[[Crooked Smile]]" featuring [[TLC (group)|TLC]], "[[Forbidden Fruit (J Cole song)|Forbidden Fruit]]" featuring [[Kendrick Lamar]] and "[[She Knows (J. Cole song)|She Knows]]".


===2014–present: ''2014 Forest Hills Drive'' ===

{{main|2014 Forest Hills Drive}}


On January 28, 2014, J. Cole announced that his record label Dreamville Records had signed a distribution deal with [[Interscope Records]], and released a label compilation mixtape titled ''Revenge of the Dreamers''. At the time of the deal, the label included [[Bas (rapper)|Bas]], Omen and KQuick.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.complex.com/music/2014/01/j-cole-releases-revenge-of-the-dreamers-mixtape-announces-dreamville-interscope-partnership|title=J. Cole Releases A New Mixtape "Revenge of the Dreamers" and Announces Partnership Between His Dreamville Imprint and Interscope|author=Kyle Kramer|date=29 January 2014|work=Complex}}</ref>


On November 16, 2014, Cole released a video where he announced he would be releasing his third album, titled ''[[2014 Forest Hills Drive]]'', on December 9, 2014. The video also featured footage regarding the [[making-of]] the album. Additionally, the album's name sake was revealed to be the address of Cole's childhood home in Fayetteville, North Carolina.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.rap-up.com/2014/11/16/j-cole-announces-new-album-2014-forest-hills-drive/|title=J. Cole Announces New Album ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’|work=Rap-Up}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.vibe.com/article/j-cole-2014-forest-hills-drive-rumors|title=Is J. Cole Dropping A New Album Next Month?|work=Vibe}}</ref>


Cole also revealed he would be releasing this album with no lead singles and little promotion. The 13-track album was available for pre-order on iTunes before its general release.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/6319871/j-cole-2014-forest-hills-drive-album |title=J. Cole Reveals '2014 Forest Hills Drive' Album Coming By End of Year |first=Erika |last=Ramirez |website=Billboard.com |date=November 17, 2014 |accessdate=December 4, 2014}}</ref>


On March 31, 2015, ''2014 Forest Hills Drive'' was certified platinum,<ref>{{cite web|title=Bravo: J.Cole’s ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ Album Goes Platinum|url=http://www.vibe.com/2015/03/j-cole-2014-forest-hills-drive-album-goes-platinum/|website=Vibe|accessdate=31 March 2015}}</ref> making it the first hip-hop album with no features to achieve platinum since 1989.<ref>{{cite web|title=“2014 Forest Hills Drive” is Officially J. Cole’s First Platinum Album|url=http://www.djbooth.net/index/news/entry/2015-3-31-j-cole-forest-hills-drive-platinum-album|website=Djbooth|accessdate=1 April 2015}}</ref>


==Musical style==

In 2011, Cole has cited [[Tupac Shakur]], [[Nas]], [[Canibus]], and [[Eminem]] as his influences and calls Tupac his favorite rapper.<ref>http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.15889/title.j-cole-talks-storytelling-working-with-jay-z-kendrick-lamar</ref><ref>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CvED0F5LAw</ref> Since his success, Cole has been compared to Nas on numerous occasions.<ref>http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.25037/title.nas-j-cole-address-comparisons-to-each-other-lyricism-in-2013</ref> J. Cole has addressed this comparison in his song [[Let Nas Down]], where he states that Nas is his idol and that the comparison came from his third mixtape Friday Night Lights.<ref>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLF39513uwM</ref>


== Discography ==

{{Main|J. Cole discography|J. Cole production discography}}



===Studio albums===

* ''[[Cole World: The Sideline Story]]'' (2011)

* ''[[Born Sinner]]'' (2013)

* ''[[2014 Forest Hills Drive]]'' (2014)


===Collaboration albums===

* TBA <small>(with [[Kendrick Lamar]])</small> (2015)<ref>http://www.bet.com/news/music/2013/03/01/j-cole-joint-album-with-kendrick-lamar-still-happening.html</ref>


==Awards and nominations==


===[[American Music Awards of 2012|American Music Awards]]===

  • 2012: New Artist of the Year (Nominated)<ref name=2012AMANomineelist>{{cite web|title=Nominees for The 40th Anniversary American Music Awards|url=http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/american-music-awards/blogs/show-news/2012-ama-nominees-list|publisher=Beta.abc.go.com|accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>

* 2012: Best Rap/Hip Hop Album "[[Cole World: The Sideline Story]]" (Nominated)<ref name=2012AMANomineelist />


===[[BET Awards]]===

  • [[BET Awards 2011|2011]]: Best New Artist (Nominated)<ref name="2011 BET Awards">{{cite web|title=BET Awards 2011: Nominations |url=http://www.gigwise.com/news/63227/BET-Awards-2011-Nominations-List|publisher=Gigwise.com|accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>
  • [[BET Awards 2012|2012]]: Best Hip Hop Artist (Nominated){{citation needed|date=June 2013}}
  • 2012: Best Collaboration: "[[Party (Beyoncé song)|Party]] (Remix)" (Nominated){{citation needed|date=June 2013}}
  • [[BET Awards 2014|2014]]: Best Male Hip Hop Artist (Nominated)<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/the-juice/6084917/beyonce-jay-z-lead-2014-bet-awards |title=Beyonce & Jay Z Lead 2014 BET Awards |publisher=Billboard |date=2014-01-26 |accessdate=2014-05-14}}</ref>


===[[BET Hip Hop Awards]]===

The [[BET Hip Hop Awards]] are hosted annually by BET for [[hip hop]] performers, producers and [[music video]] directors. J. Cole has won  awards from  nominations.

{{awards table}}

|-

|2011

|''[[Friday Night Lights (mixtape)|Friday Night Lights]]''

|Best Mixtape

|{{won}}

|-

|rowspan="6"|[[BET Hip Hop Awards#2012|2012]]

|''[[Cole World: The Sideline Story]]''<ref name="2012 BET Award Nominee List">{{cite news|title=2012 BET Award Nominee List|url=http://www.vibe.com/article/bet-announces-full-list-nominees-2012-hip-hop-awards|newspaper=Vibe|accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>

|CD of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|rowspan="4"|Himself

|MVP of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|Producer of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|Lyricist of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|Best Live Performer

|{{nom}}

|-

|"[[Nobody's Perfect (J. Cole song)|Nobody's Perfect]]" <small>(featuring [[Missy Elliott]])</small>

|Reese's Perfect Combo Award (Best Collabo)

|{{nom}}

|-

|rowspan="10"|[[2013 Bet Hip Hop Awards|2013]]

|''[[Born Sinner]]''

|Album of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|rowspan="4"|"[[Power Trip (song)|Power Trip]]" <small>(featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]])</small>

|Best Collabo, Duo or Group

|{{nom}}

|-

|Best Hip-Hop Video

|{{nom}}

|-

|Track of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|People's Champ Award

|{{nom}}

|-

|rowspan="4"|Himself

|MVP of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|Producer of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|Lyricist of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|Best Live Performer

|{{nom}}

|-

|rowspan="2"|"[[Crooked Smile (song)|Crooked Smile]]" <small>(featuring [[TLC (group)|TLC]])</small>

|Impact Track

|{{won}}

|-

|rowspan="2"|[[2014 BET Hip Hop Awards|2014]]

|Best Hip Hop Video

|{{nom}}

|-

|Himself

|Lyricist of the Year

|{{nom}}

|-

|}


===[[Grammy Awards]]===

* [[54th Grammy Awards|2012]]: Best New Artist (nominated)

* [[56th Grammy Awards|2014]]: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: "[[Power Trip (song)|Power Trip]]" featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]] (nominated)


===[[MTV Video Music Awards]]===

  • 2013: Best Hip-Hop Video: "Power Trip" featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]] (Nominated) <ref>{{cite web|title=MTV Video Music Awards 2013: Full List of Nominees|url=http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/mtv-video-music-awards-2013-full-list-of-nominees-2013177|publisher=usmagazine|accessdate=2013-08-16}}</ref>

* 2014: Best Video with a Social Message: "Crooked Smile" featuring [[TLC (group)|TLC]] (Nominated)


===[[mtvU|mtvU Woodie Awards]]===

  • 2012: Woodie of the Year: Series of Popular Mixtapes (Nominated) <ref>{{cite web|title=2012 Woodie Award Nominees|url=http://www.mtv.com/ontv/woodieawards/2012/|publisher=MTV|accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>


===[[Soul Train Music Awards]]===

  • 2012: Best New Artist (Nominated)<ref>{{cite news|title=Soul Trail 2012 Award Nominees|url=http://soultrain.com/2012/10/15/just-announced-the-2012-soul-train-awards-nominees/|newspaper=Soul Train|accessdate=2013-06-18}}</ref>

* 2013: Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year: "Power Trip" featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]] (Nominated)

* 2013: The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter's Award: "[[Crooked Smile (song)|Crooked Smile]]" featuring [[TLC (group)|TLC]] (Nominated)

* 2013: Best Collaboration: "Power Trip" featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]] (Nominated)


===[[World Music Awards]]===

* 2014: Worlds Best Song: "Power Trip" featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]]  (Nominated)

* 2014: Worlds Best Album: "[[Born Sinner]]"  (Nominated)

* 2014: Worlds Best Video: "Power Trip" featuring [[Miguel (singer)|Miguel]]  (Nominated)

* 2014: Worlds Best Male Artist  (Nominated)

* 2014: Worlds Best Live Act  (Nominated)

* 2014: Worlds Best Entertainer of the Year (Nominated)


===[[Billboard Music Awards]]===

* 2014: Top Rap Album: "[[Born Sinner]]" (Nominated)

* 2015: Top Rap Artist: (Pending)

* 2015: Top Rap Album: "[[2014 Forest Hills Drive]]" (Pending)


==Tours==

* "[[Forest Hills Drive Tour]]" (2015