J. Cole & Dale Earnhardt Jr. Cover ESPN: The Magazine

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

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If you were baffled by the Dale Earnhardt Jr. shoutout at the end of J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive LP, don’t worry about a thing, ESPN: The Magazine is on the case. As it turns out, the NASCAR star is a big fan of Jermaine’s. Who knew right?

Cole explains:

It all started when I missed the deadline for the physical CD album credits, so I decided to put them on a song and basically shout out everybody who had something to do with the album. I’d been working on the album for a year, and I was in such an ecstatic mood — I felt like I won. So while I’m shouting out everybody, I was like, “I may as well pretend a shoutout, somebody I have no idea who they are, just as a joke.”

There was an interview Dale Jr. did that asked him what he plays before races, and he said “J. Cole ‘Power Trip,’” which freaked me out! What is Dale Earnhardt Jr. doing playing my shit? How did he even find out about it? You don’t think somebody on that level would ever hear your stuff. From there, I never forgot. I was always like, “Yo, I ride with Dale Earnhardt Jr.” So when I was picking a name, I chose his. And it worked out crazy. Everywhere I go now — the airport, the store — people say, “Yo, Cole, I love that album, bro, it’s a classic!” And Dale Earnhardt Jr., it’s the first thing they bring up! It’s already a thing in hip-hop, already an inside joke that’s going to live forever.

Continue below for some footage of Cole and Dale shooting the cover, and click through to ESPN to read their joint Q&A in its entirety.

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Jeremih ft. J. Cole – Planes

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

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Cole joins Jeremih on “Planes,” a track which will appear on the R&B singer’s forthcoming LP, Late Nights, coming soon. Check it out after the jump.

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Next Up: Cozz

Friday, January 9th, 2015

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If there were ever a Richard Sherman story in hip-hop Cozz would be it. The 21-year-old South Central, Los Angeles native began his youth with dreams of being rich but acted on them differently than your average perceived kid from the area.

Rather than slanging dope on the corner or sticking up the vulnerable the rapper born Cody Osagie chose to lay low. Being the beneficiary of a two-parent household also helped and there was no Doughboy to his Tre Styles. And while Cozz didn’t necessarily participate in the fast life he certainly witnessed people who did.

“I knew gangbangers and I had a moment in my life where I wanted to do it out of stupidity and me just being young and immature. I grew up in the heart of the hood but my parents kept my head on straight.” In his more recent years Cozz has used hip-hop as a distraction. And it’s been a damn good one. Ironically though, rap wasn’t originally in the plans for the head on straight kid. Rather it was a way to express himself and his experiences–perhaps the ones he never wanted to have.

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Video: J. Cole Interview with Angie Martinez

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Cole sits down with Angie at Power 105. He talks about his heartfelt performance of “Be Free” on Letterman and the previously unheard verse that he added to it, infusing his music with social awareness, his issues with capitalism, his references to Eminem and Macklemore on the song “Firing Squad” and how they were received by media outlets, Ferguson and more.

Also, I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’ve heard good things about Cole’s hour long sit-down with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley for NPR’s Microphone Check, which you can stream in full below.

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Video: J. Cole – Be Free (Live On David Letterman)

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Previously: J. Cole – Apparently (Video)

J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Album Stream)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

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Stream J. Cole’s new album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, available on iTunes today and available to stream courtesy of Spotify, down below.

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Video: J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive Intro

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Here’s our first real taste of 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The album will be out Tuesday.

Previously: J. Cole Covers Complex

J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Album Tracklist)

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

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13 tracks. No features. Here is a look at the official tracklist for J. Cole’s upcoming album 2014 Forest Hills Drive dropping December 9th.

Tracklist below.

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J. Cole Covers Complex

Monday, November 24th, 2014

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Complex unveils yet another cover for their December/January issue, this time with Mr. Jermaine Cole. For the piece, by Damien Scott, they travelled back to Cole’s hometown of Fayetteville, NC to speak to him about why he’s naming his new album after the address of his childhood home, his need to return to his roots, his Berry Gordy aspirations with his Dreamville label and much more.

Read the full cover story here and continue below for a tour of 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

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Video: J. Cole Talks Fans, Stereotypes

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

While on the road for the Dollar and A Dream Tour, FADER spoke to Jermaine about the tour itself, his interactions with fans and how some folks can stereotype or make assumptions about people that they have never met.

Cole recently announced his new album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which he’s dropping on December 9th without a single. You can head over to his website where he’s holding a contest that will allow winners to travel to his old home in Fayetville, NC for a special listening session ahead of it’s release.

Previously: Jessie Ware ft. J. Cole – Kind Of… Sometimes… Maybe (Remix)