J. Cole takes the road less traveled to Central

Much like his New York City counterpart, DMX, J. Cole arrived fashionably late to Finch Field house on Sunday night. However, this may be the only similarity between the two hip-hop stars.

Cole treated the modest crowd to his lyrics about life, fun and perseverance, stopping multiple times to remind the audience that they had no idea who he was. Some seemed to disagree.

“I’ve been listening to him since the beginning of the summer, and I think he’s going to be huge,” Danielle Hicks, a senior said.

Many of Cole’s songs reflect his confidence, including a new track, “Blow Up,” which brought a strong reaction from the crowd.

Jermaine Cole isn’t your typical rapper, and certainly didn’t take the typical path to rap stardom. After being born Jan. 28, 1985, in Frankfurt, Germany, Cole and his mother moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina before his first birthday.

Music was always a passion for Cole, who began rapping and writing rhymes when he was 12-years-old. By 17, Cole was using a beat machine and posting songs online. He always knew he needed to move to a bigger city to make it in music, and decided to attend St. John’s University in New York.

After graduating with honors in communications and business, Cole passed on law school and went full-speed ahead with his music career. He released a mix-tape, “The Come Up,” in 2007.

Hip-Hop heavyweight Jay-Z, heard one of the tracks and immediately signed Cole to his Roc Nation label. With one more mix-tape, “The Warm Up,” in 2009, collaboration with Jay-Z on the song “A Star is Born,” and his debut album set for release this month, J. Cole is working his way into familiarity.