21 Songs, 1 Hour, 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A talent on the mic and behind the boards, J. Cole crafts smart and emotive hip-hop. Guest verses on Cole's second studio album come from 50 Cent ("New York Times") and Kendrick Lamar ("Forbidden Fruit"), but it's the R&B touches that imbue the project with its defining soul. TLC's T-Boz and Chilli bring a summer sheen to "Crooked Smile", Miguel helps turn "Power Trip" into a melancholic lament on love and the Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman graces the dramatic "She Knows".

EDITORS’ NOTES

A talent on the mic and behind the boards, J. Cole crafts smart and emotive hip-hop. Guest verses on Cole's second studio album come from 50 Cent ("New York Times") and Kendrick Lamar ("Forbidden Fruit"), but it's the R&B touches that imbue the project with its defining soul. TLC's T-Boz and Chilli bring a summer sheen to "Crooked Smile", Miguel helps turn "Power Trip" into a melancholic lament on love and the Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman graces the dramatic "She Knows".

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

788 Ratings

Amazing

K99h75,

Gonna be the best album of 2013 eaaaaaasily

Kanye beater

Rhimes,

I've listed to this over and over and over. Why did Cole choose to release this same day as Kanye? Because its that good. If Kanye wants to better this, he's gonna have to go back in time and re do College Dropout. Best hiphop LP of 2013 for me. Story teller supreme.

About J. Cole

J. Cole, the first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, was among the most commercially successful rap artists of the early 2010s. Born in Germany but raised in North Carolina, Jermaine Cole grew up with a mother who loved rock and folk, and a father who was a fan of hardcore rap artists like 2Pac and Ice Cube. Cole's high-school grades earned an academic scholarship to attend St. John's University in New York City, where Cole knew he could make progress as a musician. After numerous days standing outside Jay-Z's office in hopes of giving him a demo, Cole finally ran into his idol, but the reception was well below chilly. He was shocked when, weeks later, he received a call from the man and even more shocked when he got a chance to contribute to his 2009 effort The Blueprint 3. Later that year, Cole released the mixtape The Warm Up, while 2010 saw the appearance of the Friday Night Lights mixtape, with Cole handling most of the production.

In 2011, Roc Nation released his official debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, which debuted on top of the Billboard 200. Featuring the single "Power Trip," Born Sinner followed in 2013 with guest appearances from Miguel, TLC, and Kendrick Lamar. Titled after the address of his childhood home, 2014 Forest Hills Drive continued Cole's streak of number one albums in 2014. Rather strikingly, the album did not feature any guest artists. By the time Cole released his grim fourth album, the chart-topping 4 Your Eyez Only, in 2016, he had platinum certifications for all three of his prior full-lengths, ten charting Hot 100 singles as a top-billed artist, and three as a guest. ~ David Jeffries

  • ORIGIN
    Frankfurt, Germany
  • GENRE
    Hip-Hop/Rap
  • BORN
    28 January 1985

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