J. Cole Rocs Secret NY Show at the 40/40 Club

Roc Nation signee and XXL Freshman, J. Cole, surprised fans on Wednesday night (June 16) with a secret performance at mentor Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in New York City.

Cole, who celebrated the one-year anniversary of the release of his critically acclaimed mixtape, The Warm Up, the night before, thanked the audience for their support before beginning his brief set which included some of the tape’s most notable songs.

“When the beat drops I want to have this bourgeois 40/40 Club lookin’ like a Wu-Tang show,” he yelled before jumping into “Young Simba.” The Manhattan club was packed to capacity with industry insiders and a few fans that were lucky enough to learn about the location of the secret performance.

The North Carolina MC, who thrives off of audience participation, was thrown off by the mostly industry crowd’s unfamiliarity with his catalog. While everyone in attendance did their best to participate when called upon, Cole at times seemed to be the only person in the building making any noise— a fact he was clearly disappointed in. During the fan-favorite “Lights Please,” he looked to the audience to help him recover after forgetting his lyrics, only to learn he wasn’t the only one who didn’t know the song word for word.

Cole did not let the crowd discourage him, however. He humbly joked about the lack of participation then quickly moved on, focusing on connecting with the handful of die-hard fans he was able to spot singing along amongst the sea of camera’s and video recorders.

Between songs, Cole apologized to the audience for appearing distracted, explaining that he couldn’t help glancing at the large televisions that were broadcasting his performance throughout the club. “I keep lookin’ at myself on the screen,” he joked.

He was able to overcome the distractions and less-than enthusiastic crowd by the time he got to the show’s closer, his verse from Jay-Z’s “A Star Is Born,” sending those in attendance home with the feeling that they had just seen hip-hop’s next big thing. —Calvin Stovall

  • Sha

    Seems like dude needs a little more experience with concerts. This is a rookie mistake. Maybe he should have did a couple of fill-ins with The Roots to learn his craft. He won’t be moving as many units as Drake if hip-hop mags keep giving him reviews like this one. Real talk.

  • Capostatus

    New York is back baby. Fuck the South till i die.

    • Clever

      What you say? You gon fuck ya Mama til ya die?! you nasty Muahphukka! LOL

    • PHR3SH

      CAPOSTATUS U A PUSSY NIGGA. J.COLE FROM CAROLINA. DATS DA SOUTH. U A STUPID HATIN ASS NIGGA.

  • eesco

    Yo this is some classic industry shit. Fill a room full of people who dont know anything about the artist performing at the venue but have them show up anyways and have the artist, who by the way is used to performing for crowds of people who are familiar with the music, perform some stuff the industry mufuckas in attendance have never taken the time to listen to. Why not have a couple industry insiders and a gang of fans so the insiders can see the impact this artist has on people who know there stuff. I mean damn it was suppossed to be an anniversary party celebrating the dropping of his phenominal mixtape the warm up and his signing to the roc. There should have been more fans of his music there. I mean you bring colin monroe out at a wu-tang concert full of die hard Wu fans he is gonna get the same kind of reaction because no one knows him.

    • that nigga

      As long as we know this kid is dope is all that matters. We wit’cha J.Cole. Dont worry, we here.

  • Teddy

    i watched that shit on youtube was pretty bad audience whats the point of holding a free concert for ppl not into the music what a waste of tickets and energy j.cole doesnt speak to 40/40 ppl anyway in his music (middle age rich folk) but his performance wasnt great either like that whole bit doin the entire fucking grown simba song with no beat man that exhausting especially if people dont know your shit put some beat on it damn and he seemed puffed out and out of breath for some bits generally i can understand the crowd bein like beh cos it was a shit performance wasnt strong at all like his S.O.B. show he had alot more confidence but it was a tough crowd tho so thats prob why he fumbled

  • Johnson

    It was your typical New York crowd. It could have been zero press and all fans they still would have gave him a luke warm response. He just needs to be professional and keep it movin when he makes a mistake. He’ll learn. He’s still going to be the best in the game IMO.

  • Rell

    Please understand, this wasn’t the “TYPICAL NEW YORK CROWD” syndrome.

    I was one of the those who won tickets to this event. The industry cats were allowed inside the 40/40 club while fans were made to wait outside til minutes before the show started.

    Then, when it started, we were made to wait in the lobby and watch the show THROUGH A DOORWAY with security blocking.

    HIS FANS WERE NOT AT THE SHOW.

    Someone from Roc Nation informed us that the place was packed and we could watch the show on the flat screens instead, but they didn’t play the show on the flat screens.

    I don’t blame J. Cole for feeling the way he did. Roc Nation has been promoting him so badly. His fans were not in attendance. We were outside trying to get in, and we’re really fucking upset about it.

    Why let us WIN TICKETS then tell us there was a capacity issue? How could that be? We should’ve been let in after waiting hours.

    • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

      ^^damn. co-sign this & eesco. thats how these corporate folks kick it? his boss owns the club! this sounds like some bulshit. i guess their really is no such thing as a free lunch (show).

  • alderman j

    J COLE FROM THE SOUTH ANYWAY CLOWNS, ALL OF US ARE FROM THE SOUTH, AINT A NIGGA IN THE UNION THAT DIDNT ULTIMATELY COME FROM THE SOUTH!!!PREACH!!!

    • sb

      you are on point my man…

  • alderman j

    J ELECTRONICA, VADO, J COLE, RED CAFE, CURRENSY. THE FUTURE IS WITH THESE CATS

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    “Roc Nation has been promoting him so badly”

    ^

    There is a thing called a rehearsal studio.

    “Someone from Roc Nation informed us that the place was packed and we could watch the show on the flat screens instead, but they didn’t play the show on the flat screens.”

    ^ they used y’all, the old club “let them stand outside to make it seem like there’s a big demand” tactic.

  • Sauced

    The next big thing but the crowd was dead, sucks for jcole .. A hov cosign didnt do much for this kid

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