Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known as J.Cole, has been hip hop’s best kept secret for years. Ever since Jay-Z signed him to RocNation, we’ve been waiting to hear what all the hype was about. After his debut album was pushed back…and back last Spring, our interest in the newbie only intensified. After a jam-packed summer of touring and teasing, the wait is finally over.
Cole will release his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story on September 27 on the heels of a massive build up. In the months leading up to his debut release, Cole treated fans to new music through his “Any Given Sunday” campaign, delivering singles each week since July 13. While he had initially planned on dropping a mixtape prior to his major release, he changed his mind, deciding to stream music on his Web site and Ustream instead.
He told media in July, “The music I was gonna put on the mixtape I’mma just slowly drop it. I’ll just drop it out online and they’ll find it. You know, my fans will find it how they will. I’m confident. I don’t wanna run and drop a mixtape. I don’t want people to get confused with that. I don’t want them to love it, because they’ll love it. If I put out a mixtape they’re gonna love it cause I don’t know how to put out a bad mixtape. That’s the problem.”
Cole wasn’t being cocky. His mixtapes are what gained the attention of Jay-Z back in 2007—The Come Up mixtape earned him a spot on The Blueprint 3 in 2009. After his secondmixtape, The Warm Up hit the streets that year, Jay signed him as the first artist at his RocNation imprint. Since then, Hov has kept his protégé on his toes, making him wait til the eleventh hour to lend a verse to “Mr. Nice Watch”.
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