Just hours ago on the social media site Twitter, J. Cole shared with the world and his followers that he will be releasing his new album "Cole World: The Sideline Story", on September 27th. Just off of his stellar performance at the 10th annual Bonaroo Festival in Manchester Tennessee, Cole is putting the finishing touches and extra polish on his first ever studio album. J. Cole has a big reputation and has even bigger shoes to fill as he is said to be the sole prodigy of Hip-Hop legend and Brooklyn M.C. Jay-Z. He is famous for being the first artist signed to Jay-Z's new record label Roc Nation. Like his mentor (Hov), Cole has some of the most creative lyrics of any young rapper out there and all of his mixtapes go to show his prowess behind the mic.
His most recent mixtape, "Friday Night Lights", since its release in early November of 2010 has gone on to be downloaded 300,000 times on Datpiff alone and his first two mixtapes "The Come Up" and "The Warm Up" are already touted as mixtape classics. It is rumored that the North Carolina native has been meeting with artists such as Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Jay-Z to collaborate on the album with and it has been confirmed in the past couple weeks that Jay-Z will be featured on one of the tracks, Cole just hasn't figured out which one yet.
"The Sideline Story" will have more than its fair share of hype and rightfully so with the star-studded cast that is contributing to it. Jay-Z and Yeezy don't put their names on anything. I have no doubt that there are going to be some insane tracks on it. Jay is getting older and Cole might be the guy who he eventually passes his torch to. As Cole said on Twitter in May, "All singles done. Album ridiculous. Title Perfect. Music incredible. Thank you for your patience. Let's change the game."
If you haven't heard of him already, it is time to step up your game, Cole is someone worth listening to and has developed his own distinct sound. Like the popular Mississippi up-and-comer that is frequently talked about on this forum, Big K.R.I.T., J. Cole produces most of his own beats. It will be interesting to see if his production abilities become part of his calling as an artist, like they have become for artists like Kanye West, Timbaland, and now Big K.R.I.T. Keep an eye and an ear out for Cole. Follow him on his Twitter page http://twitter.com/#!/jcolenc. And put a bookmark on his website http://www.dreamvillain.net/
J. Cole sounds like he has a lot of things going his way. I have a pretty good feeling that his new album will deliver. The circulation of his mix tapes only goes to show that he has the skills needed to pump out some dope hits. Maybe J. Cole and Big K.R.I.T could do an ill collaboration!
A Mississippi/North Carolina collaboration would be insane no doubt. I'm sure that album/mixtape if it were ever to be produced would kill it down South. On the subject of Southern Hip-Hop and North Carolina, 2dopeboyz (one of the only true Hip-Hop blogs on the web), gave a shout out to the group Little Brother and in particular their inspirational track "Dreams".
Little Brother is acclaimed as one of the best underground acts of the early thousands to never get the recognition that they deserved. It is ironic though that they are an acclaimed underground Hip-Hop group, the concept of that seems a little contradictory. The group formed back in 1998 while the three members Big Pooh, Phonte, and legendary DJ/Producer 9th Wonder were all in college together at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. The group upon forming was heavily influenced by acts like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and Brand Nubian--groups considered to be the first to make Alternative Hip-Hop. Subsequently they felt it was fitting to call themselves "Little Brother" to acknowledge their respect for the groups that came before Little Brother and also pay homage to them in their music. Big Pooh and Phonte have unfortunately never seen much limelight out of the groups own success in the underground world, contrary to 9th Wonder who left the group in 2007 and has gone on to be one of the biggest producers in Hip-Hop today. 9th Wonder's genius as a producer did not take long to be recognized, shortly after the release of the group's first album, "The Listening", in 2003, 9th Wonder was contacted for the production responsibilities on Jay-Z's Black Album track "Threat".
The group has recorded 4 studio albums, "The Listening", "The Minstrel Show", "Getback", and after their break up, they recorded and released their last studio album, "Letback" in 2010. But 9th Wonder only handled the production responsibilities for "The Listening" and "The Minstrel Show" because he left the group during the production of "Getback" in 2007. The group still makes music today, but not under the name "Little Brother". Shortly after the release of their final album "Letback" the group disbanded on April 10th, 2010. Big Pooh and Phonte still remain friends today, but neither of them keep in touch with 9th Wonder after the rocky fallout that the three had.
Each album received positive feedback and reviews in their respective community of North Carolina, but the group other than the individual successes of 9th Wonder, have never made it into the public spectrum. It is funny today with how big the Internet has gotten that there is such a thing as being "underground", however, perhaps these guys never got the proper recognition that they deserved or still deserve. Shout out to EPMD for the inspirations on the album design and artwork from their album, "Strictly Business", that is shown on Little Brother's album, "Getback".
Joe "dreams" is literally the song that inspires me to keep working on music... to keep pushing, to not stop, and to stay in tune with what I one day want to do.
NC hip-hop may be a little softspoken in general but we've got some amazing acts that are truly classics. 9th Wonder, both with and without lil brother, Ski Beatz, who's worked with jay-z camp lo and curren$y just to name a few, and of course there's J. Cole. #ncswag
"Dreams" lays it all out. NC hip-hop is on the rise especially the way Ski Beatz and 9th Wonder keep putting out fire. Not to mention J. Cole, who could one day have his own stranglehold over the whole game. He and 9th Wonder definitely need to work on a collaboration together. 9th Wonder's creativity and skill on the tables mixed with Cole's versatility would be a classic if they did it right. "Death of a Popstar", the album that 9th Wonder collaborated with David Banner on was one of the better produced albums I have heard in the past couple years, but the rapping was sub par. He's got to do something with J. Cole to represent NC properly. 9th Wonder currently is working on the production responsibilities for "Take Care", (Drake's next album).
Straight from the horses mouth off of Rapuptv, J. Cole has announced he is scheduled to release a new mixtape this summer before the drop of his debut album coming September 27th. Keep a look out for Cole World's new tape in the next couple of months. He also speaks on working/producing with Jay-Z, Wale, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay Electronica. He's a two headed beast both on the turntables and on the mic. Also keep a heads up for the new J. Cole, Wale, Maybach Music project, "Bad Girls Club".
Check out the video from J. Cole and a snippet of the project below...