J. Cole

Aug
31
Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, & Iggy Azalea Invade Made in America Festival

Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar

The Budweiser Made in America Festival touched down in Philadelphia and Los Angeles over Labor Day weekend. The two-day concert event returned to Philly’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Saturday and brought with it an all-star lineup including J. Cole and Kanye West, who closed out the Day 1 festivities with “Black Skinhead,” “Runaway,” and “New Slaves.”

On the West Coast, Hit-Boy and YG repped for their hometown crowds. Fans filled the streets of downtown L.A. to catch the Compton rapper performing his hits including “My Hitta” and “Who Do You Love,” with DJ Mustard on the turntables.

Fresh off her VMA performance, Iggy Azalea graced the steps of L.A.’s City Hall with “Pussy,” “Fancy,” and “Black Widow,” on which she was joined by fellow blonde bombshell Rita Ora.

As the temperature cooled down, TDE came and conquered the main stage with Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and ScHoolboy Q. Kendrick Lamar capped off the 75-minute set with “Poetic Justice” and “m.A.A.d city,” and brought out Q for “Collard Greens.”

SZA, Rita Ora, Chance the Rapper, Cypress Hill, and Kanye West will close out Day 2 in L.A., while Pharrell and YG take on Philly.

Watch the performances and see backstage photos from Day 1 below.

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Aug
15
New Music: J. Cole – ‘Be Free’

Be Free

In the wake of the police shooting that left African-American teenager Michael Brown dead, J. Cole responds by penning a powerful and emotional plea. Over a bare bones beat, the Roc Nation MC cries out for freedom and justice.

“All we wanna do is take the chains off / All we wanna do is be free,” sings a grief-stricken Cole.

“Rest in Peace to Michael Brown and to every young black man murdered in America, whether by the hands of white or black,” said Cole. “I pray that one day the world will be filled with peace and rid of injustice. Only then will we all Be Free.”

Listen to him stand his ground.

UPDATE: Cole has changed the artwork out of respect for Brown’s family.

“We were unaware of Mike Brown’s mother’s request to not use that picture,” he said of the original photo. “Art has been changed out of respect for her wishes.”

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Jul
24
J. Cole Brings Out Drake, Kendrick Lamar at L.A. Show

J. Cole and Drake

Grand opening, grand closing. J. Cole capped off his second annual “Dollar & A Dream” tour with a bang.

Following sold-out shows in London, New York, Miami, Raleigh, and Chicago, the Roc Nation MC performed two back-to-back shows at L.A.’s Belasco Theater on Wednesday night. His Dreamvillains lined up for hours to get their hands on the coveted $1 tickets, and they got much more than they paid for.

In addition to performing his 5-year-old mixtape The Warm Up in its entirety, Cole surprised the crowd by bringing out Drake, who performed “Trophies,” “0 to 100,” and “Worst Behavior.”

“These are the only two kings in the game right now on stage,” said Drizzy as he stood alongside Cole.

During his second show, L.A.’s own Kendrick Lamar joined Cole onstage for “Poetic Justice,” “Backseat Freestyle,” and “m.A.A.d city.”

If you weren’t lucky enough to score a ticket, check out some footage below.

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Jul
16
J. Cole Brings ‘Dollar & A Dream’ Tour to NYC

J. Cole

In honor of the 5th anniversary of his seminal mixtape The Warm Up, J. Cole brought his second annual “Dollar & A Dream Tour” to NYC with two back-to-back shows at Highline Ballroom on Tuesday night.

Fans were given the location on Twitter earlier in the day and lined up in the rain to get their hands on the coveted $1 tickets.

It didn’t take long before both shows were sold out. “congrats to those that got a wristband. i’m sorry to those that didn’t, I wish you could rock with me 2,” tweeted Cole.

He performed The Warm Up in its entirety including crowd favorites “Grown Simba” and “Lights Please.”

Following the kickoff show in London earlier this month, the tour continues to Miami (7/17), Raleigh (7/19), Chicago (7/21), and L.A. (7/23).

Cole recently welcomed 20-year-old South Central rapper Cozz to the Dreamville family.

Dreamville’s Bas, who is opening for him on tour, just dropped a video for “Charles De Gaulle to JFK” off his debut EP Last Winter.

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Jul
12
Jay Z, J. Cole Join Jay Electronica at Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Jay Electronica and Jay Z

The Roc was in the building at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival on Saturday. Jay Electronica celebrated the 10th anniversary by bringing out some special guests during his headlining set.

Mac Miller joined the New Orleans rapper for “Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes,” and J. Cole and Talib Kweli thrilled the crowd with their collaboration “Just Begun.”

But the real surprise was when his Roc Nation boss, Jay Z, blessed the stage.

“Feels good to be home,” said Hov, who was headed to his “On the Run” concert with BeyoncĂ© at MetLife Stadium.

The two performed “Shiny Suit Theory,” “We Made It (Freestyle),” “Young, Gifted, & Black,” and “Public Service Announcement.”

“Put your diamonds in the sky and let it be known from this day forward, this is the new black national anthem,” said Jay Electronica.

Before leaving, Jay Z took off his Five-Percent Nation chain and handed it to Jay E.

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Jun
15
J. Cole Drops ‘Lights Please’ Video, Announces ‘Dollar & A Dream Tour’ Dates

J. Cole

In honor of the 5th anniversary of his mixtape The Warm Up, J. Cole debuts the never-before-seen video for “Lights Please,” which aired during Sunday’s MTV special “The Warm Up: 5 Years Later.”

It was Cole’s first time seeing the video, which was shot in August 2008. The BB Gun-directed clip was originally planned as a trilogy that included “Lost Ones” and “Simba.”

The celebration continues. The Roc Nation rapper has also announced dates for his second annual “Dollar & A Dream Tour,” which kicks off July 3 in London and travels to New York (7/15), Miami (7/17), Raleigh (7/19), Chicago (7/21), and L.A. (7/23).

He will perform The Warm Up in its entirety during the six shows. Tickets will cost $1 and be available on a first come, first serve basis.

In an open letter published on his Dreamvillain website, Cole reflected on the mixtape that changed his life and the lives of many of his fans. “Five years later, I couldn’t be more proud of its impact. Thank you,” he wrote.

Take a walk down memory lane with Cole.

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Jun
13
J. Cole Challenges Jay Z in Unearthed Video

J. Cole and Jay Z

Five years after the release of The Warm Up, J. Cole reminisces on his breakout mixtape on the MTV special “The Warm Up: 5 Years Later.”

Sway Calloway interviews the North Carolina rapper about his journey to becoming a hip-hop superstar, while Cole gives fans an inside look into specific songs on the tape.

He also shares some never-before-seen footage of him challenging Jay Z in a 2009 video.

“I was being reckless,” laughed Cole.

Plus, he reflects on how his relationship with his Roc Nation boss has changed throughout the years.

“Now it’s an actual relationship,” he said. “I feel like I know him a little better, a lot better, and I can relate to him ’cause I’ve been through a lot of the things that he’s been through.”

Watch the full episode Sunday at 7:30 pm EST on MTV Jams.

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