Its been a long time coming. Two days before releasing his much anticipated debut album to the world, Cole World: The Sideline Story, J. Cole gave fans a special concert last night (September 25th) at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom.
While anticipation reached fever pitch with fans simultaneously chanting, “We Want Cole,” the lights dimmed down around 9 p.m. and the 2010 XXL Freshman finally took the stage. Sporting a black varsity jacket, cargo pants, and a fresh pair of Black Cement Air Jordan III’s–not to mention a cast on his left foot–the man of the hour arrived searing through his hardhitting verse on Kanye’s “Looking For Trouble.”
“Cole World make way for the chosen one/What you hear now is putting fear in all the older ones” the Fayetteville, NC native spit. “Never say I’m better than Hov, but I’m the closest one.”
As Jay watched on from the side of the stage, Cole’s dream finally came into fruition. “I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was 12-13 years old,” he said about waiting for his album to finally hit stores.
Backed by a string of critically acclaimed releases (The Come Up, The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights), Cole dived into a slew of crowd pleasers including “Grown Simba,” “In The Morning,” “Before I’m Gone,” “You Got It,” and more.
Although there were no surprise guests, the former XXL Freshman kept the NY crowd rocking while performing joints from his forthcoming LP.
After a brief exit from the stage to which the crowd begged for more, roaring, “Cole World,” repeatedly, the Roc Nation signee returned to close out the night with the last cut on Friday Night Lights. “This for *ggas climbing heaven’s stairwell/Farewell…”
Grasping the energy from the joyous crowd, Cole left the stage throwing up the signature Roc diamond symbol. Pressure makes diamonds indeed. —Ralph Bristout