Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Urbanite New Hip Hop Artist of 2011 - J Cole

"My homie Nate asked me if I gained weight, I said nah, my pockets got fatter that's all"

Jermaine Lammar Cole's pockets most definitely have got fatter over the past few years.  Ever since he dropped his first mixtape, The Come Up (2007) big things were predicted for the North Carolina rapper. He then got signed to Roc Nation, appeared on Jay Z's Blueprint 3, dropped two other critically acclaimed mixtapes (The Warm Up, Friday Night Lights) and toured the world supporting two of raps biggest up and coming names, Drake and Tinie Tempah, as well as the current Princess of Pop, Rihanna.

No wonder then, that Cole is being talked about as the messiah of hip hop.  Lyrically more adept and versatile than his mate Drake, Cole is a rapper's rapper; a social observer that can just as easily craft a conscious song about the double standards of abortion (Lost One's) as well as a standard party song (Can't Get Enough) and a song bragging about how great he is (Cole World) all on the same album.

Despite the varied subject matter, the songs on Cole World: The Sideline Story are great and showcase his versatile ability and witty one-liners ("you think that you're the shit but boy you can't out-fart me").  Cole is also remarkable in that he produces many of his own songs, giving him the creativity and freedom to more or less do what he wants on a track.

Along with the dropping the album of the year, going gold in a few months and selling more first week sales than any other rapper this year, he also received a grammy nomination for best new artist and sold out shows in the US and Europe.

It seems like this Jay Z protege has more than just a dollar and a dream.  He's also got the rap world at his feet.

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