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j. cole

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Listen: J. Cole – “Grew Up Fast”

It’s that time. This for yall. DoubleDoubleCrossed. – Cole

Here’s a new track from J. Cole aka Young Simba, who released his debut studio album Cole World: The Sideline Story last year. Produced by Canei Finch, “Grew Up Fast” features Cole spitting straight fire over a killer vocal sample. Soul meets Cole, double double crossed.

MP3: J. Cole – “Grew Up Fast”

Cole’s recently announced tour dates with Big K.R.I.T. are included below.

Campus Consciousness Spring 2012 / The Sideline Story Tour Dates

April 11 – Kingston, RI – University Of Rhode Island @ The Ryan Center
April 13 – Babson Park, MA – Private Location
April 14 – Waterville, ME – Colby College @ Wadsworth Arena
April 15 – Amherst, MA – Private Location
April 17 – Champaign, IL – University Of Illinois @ Assembly Hall Theatre
April 18 – Dekalb, IL – Northern Illinois University @ Convocation Center
April 19 – Lexington, KY – University Of Kentucky @ Memorial Coliseum
April 20 – Johnstown, PA – University Of Pittsburgh Johnstown @ Sports Center
April 21 – Greensboro, NC UNC Greensboro & North Carolina A&T @ White Oak Amphitheatre
April 23 – Springfield, MO – Drury University @ O’Reilly Center
April 24 – Cedar Falls, IA – University Of Northern Iowa @ McLeod Center
April 26 – Bloomsburg, PA – Bloomsburg College @ Nelson
April 27 – Morgantown, WV – West Virginia University @ WVU Coliseum
April 28 – Philadelphia, PA – Temple University @ The Liacouras Center
April 29 – TBA
May 3 – Durham, NH – University Of New Hampshire @ Whitmore Center Arena
May 4 – South Orange, NJ – Private Location

Interview: Phil The Thrill

My favorite thing about talking to artists is just hearing how humble they really are and how much work they’re putting in to achieve their dreams. Hard work definitely does pay off. So last week, I was extremely fortunate to speak to an up-and-coming rapper from Virginia named Phil The Thrill, who has been releasing an EP a month for the past five months, garnering attention from XXL Magazine and SmokingSection.com. On October 25th, Phil will be concluding the series with a full-length mixtape entitled Barely Awake, which you can preview here.

Check out my full interview with Phil below.

Hey Phil, what’s up? How’s it going?

Phil The Thrill: Good, good, good.

I’ve just been reading about Steve Jobs. Man, that’s terrible.

Phil The Thrill: Crazy, crazy. I mean, they knew it was gonna happen eventually, but it was just all of a sudden it seems like.

Yeah… ah, the man’s a genius. So I hear you’re 22 years old and from Newport News, Virginia, is that correct?

Phil The Thrill: Yessir.

Actually, where have I heard of that place from? Is that…Michael Vick’s hometown?

Phil The Thrill: Yeah, yeah. Michael Vick, Allen Iverson.

Oh, okay. How’s the music scene there?

Phil The Thrill: It’s… pretty scattered. This area is known as Hampton Roads, the 757. I’m not sure how familiar you are with this part of Virginia but Missy‘s from here, Timbaland‘s from here, Pharrell‘s from here,The Clipse are from here. So yeah, we have a pretty crazy rich tradition as far as music goes. It just seems like they’ll move away and you know, it’s hard to really get them back to reach out to artists that are coming up now. But as far as tradition goes, we’re definitely on the map when it comes to music, period. And then 45 minutes up the road is where Trey Songz and Chris Brown are from.

Man, that’s nice.

Phil The Thrill: Yeah, man, it’s crazy.

So where did your rapper name, Phil The Thrill, originate?

Phil The Thrill: It’s actually been a name that’s stuck with me. It’s actually been my nickname since I was around twelve years old. I was an athlete playing basketball and football and you know, when little nicknames happen to you when you’re a kid… they’d just be like “Oh, Phil The Thrill!” It sticks and through high school, when everyone would have AIM screennames, I was like lemme use my nickname. It stuck with me then and when I went on to play college basketball, it stuck with me there. So it became my Twitter name and once it sticks, I’m not going to try to change that just because I’m doing music. It’s my nickname and what people know me as. (more…)

Listen: J. Cole – “Mr. Nice Watch (feat. Jay-Z)”

Well, would you look at that. J. Cole followed through on yesterday’s Twitter promise and just dropped the most anticipated track from his new album Cole World: A Sideline Story. “Mr. Nice Watch” features none other than Cole’s mentor and hip hop legend Jay-Z.

MP3: J. Cole – “Mr. Nice Watch (feat. Jay-Z)”

For a song that includes Cole’s first obligatory Hova feature, this isn’t entirely what I expected and is nowhere near what I had hoped for. Instead of a introspective mentor-protege track between the two, we get straight-up braggadocio over a grimy, electronic beat (produced by J. Cole himself). At least we get to hear Hov go in.

Cole World: The Sideline Story, Cole’s debut album, will drop on September 27, 2011 via Roc Nation/Columbia. Check out the tracklisting after the break.

Cole World: The Sideline Story Tracklisting:
01. Intro
02. Dollar And A Dream III
03. Can’t Get Enough (feat. Trey Songz)
04. Lights Please
05. Interlude
06. Sideline Story
07. Mr. Nice Watch (feat. Jay-Z)
08. Cole World
09. In the Morning (feat. Drake)
10. Lost Ones
11. Nobody’s Perfect (feat. Missy Elliott)
12. Never Told (prod. No I.D.)
13. Rise & Shine
14. God’s Gift
15. Breakdown
16. Cheer Up
17. Nothing Lasts Forever [Bonus]
18. Work Out [Bonus]
19. Daddy’s Little Girl [Bonus]

J. Cole Releases “Any Given Sunday” Part 1: New EP

joomplu:293J. Cole has yet to put out his debut album, but the young emcee has already established himself as one of the most talented lyricists in the game. To keep the hype rolling around Cole World: The Sideline Story, which comes out on September 27, Cole has decided to release something brand new each Sunday as part of his “Any Given Sunday” series.

Track descriptions from Cole himself can be seen after the break.


Listen: Wale – “Bad Girls Club (feat. J. Cole)”

joomplu:278If you remember Wale‘s debut album, the DC rapper was completely outdone by guest feature J. Cole on “Beautiful Bliss”. Mr. Folarin obviously wasn’t that embarrassed, as “Bad Girls Club”, the first official single from Ambition, once again features J. Cole. This time, however, Cole doesn’t completely outrap Wale, with pretty lackluster verses all around. Check it out for yourself below.

Ambition, Wale’s first album on Maybach Music Group, is set to be released this fall.

XV Releases New Mixtape ‘Zero Heroes’

Kansas-based rapper XV dropped his newest project today, a mixtape titled Zero Heroes. The mixtape features production by Just BlazeJ. Cole, and Seven, as well as guest appearances by Pusha TDonnisFall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump and Kendrick Lamar. If you’re still not intrigued, let it be known that the Kingdom Hearts theme is sampled on Seven-produced “When We’re Done”. Download the mixtape for free here.

You can check out the tracklist below. The Warner Bros. signee is scheduled to release his label debut, The Kid With The Green Backpack, sometime this year.

01. Wichita [Prod. By Just Blaze]
02. Heroes Eventually Die (Interlude)
03. When We’re Done [Prod. By Seven]
04. Smallville [Prod. By J. Cole]
05. That’s Just Me [Prod. By Swiff D]
06. Awesome (feat. Pusha T) [Prod. By Seven]
07. Pictures On My Wall [Prod. By Seven]
08. Textbook Stuff (feat. Kendrick Lamar) [Prod. By Seven]
09. All For Me (feat. CyHi Da Prynce, Vado & Erin Christine) [Prod. By Omen & Audio BLK]
10. U.F.C. (feat. Kristina Rose) [Prod. By Seven]
11. Foreign Exchange Student [Prod. By Miami Horror]
12. Swervin’ [Prod. By Seven]
13. Best Days Of Lives (feat. Donnis) [Prod. By The Awesome Sound]
14. Ending Credits (Interlude)
15. The Last Hero (feat. Patrick Stump) [Prod. By Seven]

Track: XV – “SmallVille (Prod. J. Cole)”

Track: “SmallVille (Prod. J. Cole)”
Artist: XV
Release Date: January 28, 2011
Label: Warner Bros. Records and Roc Nation

Recent Warner Bros. signee XV dropped his latest track “SmallVille” a few days ago, collaborating with fellow rapper J. Cole. While Cole doesn’t grace us with a new verse, he crafts a superb track as producer, sampling The Smashing Pumpkins‘ “To Forgive”. Needless to say, XV goes in on the track, dropping clever line after clever line – “They’ll never steal my dreams like Leo DiCaprio.” – all while chronicling his relatively meteoric rise to fame. I haven’t watched the TV show Smallville, so I’m not entirely sure how the track relates, but Vizzy’s superhero references are smooth over J. Cole’s mellow, bass-heavy beat, taking the artistic liberty to add superhero inspired rhymes to the sampled chorus. Stream and download the song below.

“Smallville (Prod. J. Cole)” was released via Twitter; happy birthday to J. Cole! XV is expected to release his highly-anticipated album The Kid With The Green Backpack later this year.

Rating: 8.5/10

Review: J. Cole – Friday Night Lights

J. Cole – Friday Night Lights

Released: November 12, 2010
Label: Roc Nation

“So here we are…”

Here we are, indeed. Say hello to the third mixtape from North Carolina’s J. Cole, approved by Hova himself. With his debut album scheduled for a 2011 release, it certainly is Cole’s time to shine. This is “his moment”: his chance to achieve the success that is the subject of almost every one of his songs.

If you aren’t already familiar with J. Cole’s life story, Friday Night Lights can certainly fill you in. Like the TV show of the same name, the mixtape focuses on the struggles of small-town folk struggling in the larger world; in this case, Cole’s poverty growing up in Fayetteville, North Carolina and his transition to the world stage as a rapper. Cole, who graduated from St. John’s University magna cum laude, is a deep-thinking, well-educated lyricist, taking nothing for granted. It is obvious Cole works extremely hard for everything in his life and he does everything in his power to force you to realize that.

Keeping that in mind, Friday Night Lights contains nothing inherently new in terms of Cole’s choice of subject matter. This, however, also means that Cole is doing what he does best: rapping about himself, his dedication to the “game”, and his rise from obscurity and small town North Carolina. Complimented by the bright, twinkling piano lines of the mixtape, J. Cole spits smoothly and with modest self-confidence.

Friday Night Lights features twenty tracks of rap in its most unadulterated form. Cole handles almost all of the production himself and only includes three rapping features, excluding Kanye West‘s G.O.O.D. Friday track “Looking For Trouble”. The highly anticipated Drake collaboration, “In The Morning”, is a solid showing from both young rappers, with both donning ‘thoughtful loverboy’ personas. J. Cole’s girl is “summertime fine”, while Drizzy’s is “wintertime cold”, but in the end, this makes no difference. Both are troubled by the same internal question that is plausible only because of their meteoric rises to stardom.

Is the mixtape fun? Sure, listen to the energetic “Higher”. How about serious? Cole definitely has that taken care of. Coherent? Absolutely. Friday Night Lights is a great effort from Cole all around, showcasing both his lyrical and production talents, but still addressing all of the emotional issues that have become the ‘bread-and-butter’ of Cole’s musical repertoire. If you’re looking for the future of hip-hop, this is it.

Cole World, here we come.


Standout Tracks: “Before I’m Gone”, “Higher”, “In The Morning (feat. Drake)” and “Home For The Holidays”

J. Cole Releases New Mixtape

With his debut studio album Cole World a month away from release, J. Cole has released a new mixtape entitled Friday Night Lights. Download the new mixtape on his website here and check out the tracklisting after the break.

Friday Night Lights Tracklist:
01. Friday Nights Lights
02. Too Deep For the Intro
03. Before I’m Gone
04. Back to the Topic
05. You Got It (feat. Wale)
06. Villematic
07. Enchanted (feat. Omen)
08. Blow Up
09. Higher
10. In the Morning (feat. Drake)
11. 2Face
12. The Autograph
13. Best Friend
14. Cost Me a Lot
15. Premeditated Murder
16. Home for the Holidays
17. Love Me Not
18. See World
19. Farewell
20. Looking for Trouble (feat. Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi the Prynce)

Kanye Is Looking For Trouble

Kanye West has released “Looking For Trouble”, the latest song from his G.O.O.D. Fridays series on his website. The new track features Pusha T, Big Sean, Cyhi the Prynce, and J. Cole.