July 30 @ 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM CDT
J. Cole is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and professional basketball player for the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. He is regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. Born on a military base in Germany and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cole initially gained recognition as a rapper following his debut mixtape, The Come Up, in early 2007. Intent on further pursuing a musical career, he released two additional mixtapes, The Warm-Up (2009) and Friday Night Lights (2010), to critical acclaim, after signing to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint in 2009.
Cole released his debut studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, in 2011. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. His next album, Born Sinner (2013), also topped the Billboard 200. Moving into more conscious themes, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (2014) topped the Billboard 200 and earned Cole a Best Rap Album nomination at the 2015 Grammy Awards. His jazz-influenced fourth album, 4 Your Eyez Only (2016), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Cole’s fifth album, KOD (2018), became his fifth number-one album on the Billboard 200 and featured a then-record six simultaneous top twenty hits on the Billboard Hot 100, tying with the Beatles. His sixth studio album, The Off-Season, which earned him his sixth number-one album, was released on May 14, 2021.
Self-taught on piano, Cole also acts as a producer alongside his rap career, producing singles for artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Janet Jackson and handling most of his projects’ production. He has also developed other ventures, including Dreamville Records, as well as a non-profit organization called the Dreamville Foundation. Dreamville’s compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III (2019) debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards. In addition, in January 2015, Cole decided to house single mothers rent-free at his childhood home in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Cole has won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song, a Billboard Music Award for Top Rap Album, three Soul Train Music Awards, and 8 BET Hip Hop Awards. In addition, all five of his albums have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Revenge of the Dreamers III.
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