J. Cole

Hailing from North Carolina, rapper and producer J. Cole (born Jermaine Lamarr Cole) began his journey to stardom with a string of mixtapes released between 2007-2009. After becoming the first artist signed to JAY-Z’s Roc Nation music roster, he released his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went 2x Platinum. He promoted the album on tour supporting Drake. Cole’s hot streak continued with three more platinum albums: Born Sinner, 2014 Forest Hills Drive (which earned him a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rap Album,) and 4 Your Eyez Only. Each album has been more commercially and critically successful than the last, and each has consistently had Cole performing executive producer duties. His discography boasts collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, TLC, Trey Songz, Drake, and others, but since 2014 his albums have notably lacked features altogether. Most recently, 2018’s KOD gave Cole his fifth consecutive No. 1 album and shattered streaming records worldwide, which just goes to show that J. Cole shows no signs of slowing down.