North Carolina Native Releases Major Album!
Post by John Taylor
On Tuesday September 27, 2011, artist Jermaine Cole, better known as J. Cole, released his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story on iTunes and in stores, and I am happy to say that I was one of the first to purchase it. I am happy to tell you that all the hype is true in my opinion, and this album was definitely worth the wait. However, this blog isn’t about some random artist who released a CD, this artist is about a notable North Carolinian.
J. Cole was born in Frankfurt, Germany, however he was raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. J Cole is unlike many other rappers from relatively small towns, he did not forget where he came from on his album. For example, the group Troop 41 is from Raleigh and made the song “Do the John Wall” and referenced Raleigh, John Wall’s hometown, by saying, “Raleigh be the city where love to do the dance”, however when the song went national and they filmed their music video, the video rang out, “We be in ya city/where we love to do the dance.” J. Cole references Fayetteville several times on the album, calling it “The ‘Ville,” “Fayettenam,” – A reference to Fort Bragg, and probably why he grew up in Fayetteville, via Germany , the move made possible from the military.
J. Cole graduated from Fayetteville’s Terry Sanford High School, and attended St. John’s University in New York City. He says he chose St. John’s over a North Carolina school because he wanted to be close to the music scene that exists in New York. He graduate magna cum laude in 2007.
Cole’s album sold 218,000 copies the first week, which gave him the distinction of #1 album in the country, as the album sold more than any other artist in its first week. He also earned the honor of being the first #1 debut by a solo artist this year, and the biggest digital album debut of any new artist since January 2010.
Many congratulations are due to this North Carolina native, and I hope that after reading this you decide to go buy his album, or at least listen to it. All the tracks on the album speak of the struggles of growing up in an urban city, with only one parent. He also describes what its like when a young man and a young woman create a child, and the struggles that come along with it. Even if you do not like rap music, I encourage you to listen the words of the album, understand where he is coming from, and support the arts!