Bonnaroo Spotlight: J. Cole

We welcome back our good friend Patrick for another Lesson in Hip Hop, this time in the form of a Bonnaroo Spotlight. Check out what he has to say about festival artist J. Cole and also some other jams he has been listening to below:


With Bonnaroo right around the corner I decided to write a spotlight on who I believe to be the best hip-hop act at the festivalin;  J. Cole.

J. Cole hails from the notorious ghetto of Fayetteville, North Carolina, which he reminds you of in almost every song. Coming from Fayetteville, J. Cole took a different route to becoming an artist than most. He did well in high school and went to St. John’s University in New York City, in order to meet label reps and ended up graduating from St. John’s with a degree in communications and minored in business. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude and you can hear the full story at the end of “Last Call” (in the same fashion Kanye finished his song which J.Cole borrowed the beat for this song). J. Cole is probably the best rapper out there to never release an actual album (which will change this year with his first studio album due to be released sometime in 2011). His mixtapes, of which there are three, are all classics within themselves. I know that I gave Eric a copy of The Warm Up mixtape, which he loves. The other two are called The Come Up (which was his first), and his latest mixtape is Friday Night Lights. All three can be downloaded at for free, which you should do right about meow.

If you don’t think that these mixtapes are enough proof of the greatness of J. Cole here is some more proof:


J. Cole was the first artist to sing to Jay-Z’s new label Roc Nation (along with another rapper and Bonnaroo vet named Jay Electronica who is ill, so you should probs check him out too).


He was also recently named the 5th best hip-hop artist under 30 by Vibe Magazine, without ever releasing a studio album (I know I keep repeating that but I’m trying to make a point). J. Cole finished much ahead of more popular artists such as Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, and B.O.B. and was only beaten out by Niki Minaj (which I think is horse shit), Drake (not a huge Drake fan so horse shit), Lupe Fiasco (I’m a big fan of Lupe, not really his last album but Food and Liquor is my shit), and Lil’ Wayne (fair enough).

J. Cole can do it all. He produces tracks, and writes all his own rhymes. His metaphors are clever and will have you rewinding tracks just to hear lines again. I’d give you some of my favorites, but the truth is all his songs are my favorite. Make sure to check out his new single “Who Dat” as well as “Killers”, which is also not on any of his mixtapes. But most of all make sure you at least check out Friday Night Lights and The Warm Up. J. Cole also adds a variety of unreal freestyles to his arsenal, so if you enjoy legendary rappers such as Jay-Z, Nas, AZ, Tupac or the Notorious BIG you’ll LOVE J. Cole.

So go out there and listen. I know that J. Cole will not sell out on his album but stay true to his roots and represent his fans with his first studio album. Here is a quote from the man himself about his forthcoming album “All singles done. Album ridiculous. Title Perfect. Music incredible. Thank you for your patience. Let’s change the game.”


Hip-Hop Extra: 3 Mixtapes I’ve been jamming to, that you also need to be jamming to.


1. Viva La Hov– Jay-Z Vs. Coldplay
This mixtape has been out for a bit, but I have really been jamming to it lately, especially over the last semester of college. It has all of Jay-Z’s hits mixed with some Coldplay songs and it just seems to work out perfectly. Plus its hard to go wrong with classic Jay-Z. Download it at DatPiff here.


2. Mos Dub-Mos Def Vs. Reggae Mixtape
This mixtape is freakin sweet. I am a big Mos Def fan (especially Black Star with Talib Kweli). So this is basically a mixtape of Mos Def’s smooth flow raps, mixed with easy going reggae music, which means you basically can’t go wrong.


3. The Rawth EP– Asher Roth and Nottz Raw
I know what you’re thinking, “I thought Pat was a big hip-hop fan but why would he listen to Asher Roth.” Don’t get me wrong I hate “I Love College”, and that whole album that Asher Roth did. But according to Roth himself he was forced by the record label to release all those songs on the album, which is why he left the label after the album. I discovered this mixtape after Vibe named Roth to the best hip-hop artists under 30, so I gave the Rawth EP a chance and I really like it. Roth shows that he has good MCing skills and I discovered another awesome MC in Nottz Raw. My favorite song is “In My Mind” (which is just Nottz Raw). Give it a chance and I promise you’ll find yourself surprised and enjoying the mixtape.


Enjoy and remember there is good hip-hop music out there

Posted on by Eric in Bonnaroo Spotlight

Add a Comment