Written By: Tiana Rogers
With only a three week warning, no single, and minimum marketing; 375,000 copies of Forest Hill Drive was sold in its first week of being released. Defeating Taylor swift and Coldplay, J.Cole took the number one spot on billboard charts.
Rick Ross is on his list of defeats too. Ross held the highest first week record sales for a hip hop album in 2014 with 179,000 copies sold. Until December 9, 2014, Forest Hill Drive was released and J. Cole conquered the charts.
Showing gratitude J. Cole tweeted, “The #’s are humbling. It’s a win for all artists and fans and a clear message to the industry. No singles no features. Stop serving trash.”
I’ve been a fan of Cole since The Warm Up mix-tape. It was late 2010 and I was a third year college student. I was working a full-time job as a debt collector, and a full-time student taking 16 credit hours in classes.
I was stressed. I was striving to keep up with my GPA, social life and cheating boyfriend. Life was becoming overwhelming for me. I was immensely close to college dropout status.
One evening I was riding in the car with the renowned cheater, and he began to play The Warm Up. I remember the track “Lights Please” being the first song I heard.
The lyrics “I’m findin’ the more I grow the more y’all seem to stay the same/ Don’ t even know the rules but yet y’all tryin’ to play the game,” came through the speakers. It was love at first listen.
My ex finally served his purpose; he introduced me to the artist Jermaine Cole.
Poetically, the rapper brings gangster vibes with cultivating beats and lyrics. Cole produces philosophical music that feeds one’s soul. Using emotion and sarcasm he paints you a picture of reality.
With confidence, Cole claims the MC throne. And, after his recent unforgettable performance of “Be Free” on David Letterman, how could you deny him? On national television he rapped, “Can you tell me why/ Every time I step outside I see my people die?”
J.Cole is one of the best artists creating music right now simply due to his authenticity. He shares his true story and sentiments in his music. I can relate to his story on many levels. We come from very similar upbringings and neighborhoods. It’s not easy being from the hood and choosing not to be a thug. Or, being the only college educated person in your family.
However, these issues are common and a reality that Cole is known for shining light on. Through entertainment J.Cole coached me through my toughest years, and I am forever indebted to him.
Cole continues to bring hope for me and others in his projects. The new track “Apparently’s” hook: “I keep my head high/ I got my wings to carry me/ I keep my faith strong/ I want my dreams to rescue me,” has become my chant daily.
Today most of my peers would rather listen to artists that rap about cars, clothes and women they can’t afford. But, when the money is gone and that “coolness” has rubbed off; reality will be there waiting for them.
And soon, very soon everyone will leave their blanket behind and join this Cole World.