Who in the fuck is this guy J. Cole, and how did he go from being entirely unheard of to being all over Vibe magazine’s favorite hip-hop blogs since, like, Friday?
I know he’s the main guy signed to Jay-Z’s new label, Roc Nation, and I guess the TIs gave him a big PR push at the end of last week. I checked Rap Pravda a few minutes ago, looking for something else, and I see he’s got a new mixtape out today, and someone in the comments section there says they’re gonna be at a show he’s doing in New York tonight. Does this mean he’s gonna be the new Drake, whatever that means?
For the sake of not waiting until too late in the afternoon to come up with something to write about, which is frowned upon here at XXL, I’ve outlined a few problems J. Cole might have in his career, without actually listening to his music, or knowing whether anyone else is gonna bother listening to his music.
Without further ado…
1) His name is J. Cole.
That’s even lamer than Drake. But at least in Drake’s case, he can claim that that’s what people usually call him, and he didn’t want to get a different rap name. Like, if I decided to become a rapper, to fulfill this notion that any hip-hop blogger, especially one with a point of view, is really just a failed rapper, I might just go by Bol. But I certainly wouldn’t go by B. Crawford. What kind of lame shit is that? Is it from Diddy calling himself P. Diddy?
2) The TIs already have him in their tentacles.
Again, Drake did it the right way. Supposedly, he’s yet to sign with a major label, and his price might be as high as $2 million, probably because he sounds like a budget Lil’ Wayne, and Tha Carter III sold did a milli. He better try to pocket as much of that 2 mill as possible, and hope it doesn’t go to pay the clowns who run his fake social networking site that no one uses, and the people who send out spam email, and all of the other various forms of major label graft I’ve been trying to expose. J. Cole, meanwhile, is already signed to Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s vanity imprint/tax write-off over at Epic.
Which brings us to…
3) He’s on Roc Nation.
I knew Roc Nation was gonna be a graveyard even before I found out about the shenanigans that led it to be signed to Epic, rather than a legit rap label. The dead giveaways were the fact that Jay-Z never signed anyone worthwhile to Roc-A-Fella, he just tried to run off the people Dame signed; and the fact that Jay knew better than to put out his own album on Roc Nation.
4) Rappers who emerge from the Internets seem especially vulnerable to hate.
You see what happened to Asher Roth, and Charles Hamilton, and Wale, and the Cool Kids, and so on and so forth. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not like I sit around and come up with ways to make hipster rappers look questionable. You guys should know I would never exert that much effort. It’s just that a lot of these guys are easy to make fun of, and then when you do, there aren’t a whole lot of stans to jump to their defense, because they aren’t as genuinely popular as they are ubiquitous on the Internets. Then you end up with a situation like Charles Hamilton, where I’m hearing that the TIs are considering not bothering to release his album, perhaps due in part to this series of PR kerfuffles. I don’t know much at all about J. Cole, but… well, just look at the cover of his new mixtape.