Jermaine Lamar Cole, better known as rapper J. Cole, got his start in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he picked up music productions skills after receiving an ASR-X music sampler as a Christmas gift. Following a move to New York City to attend school and pursue a career in hip hop, Cole released his first mixtape in 2007, The Come Up, which became the catalyst for his mainstream career. Soon after its release, J. Cole was contacted by JAY-Z, and later signed to his label, Roc Nation. Under the label, Cole released his second mixtape, The Warm Up.
During his time releasing mixtapes, J. Cole founded his record label, Dreamville Records, under which he has released his own music and signed the likes of Ari Lennox, J.I.D., and EarthGang. Following his foray into the record label industry, Cole established the Dreamville Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting the urban youth in his hometown.
In 2011, J. Cole dropped his debut studio album, Cole World: A Sideline Story, which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart within its first week of release. “Work Out,” the album’s breakout single, became a Billboard top 10 hit and was later certified double platinum. In 2014, J. Cole dropped Forest Hills Drive, a record-breaking rap album without features. Singles such as “Love Yourz,” “Wet Dreamz,” and “No Role Modelz” became instant successes—the latter of which was certified platinum soon after its release. J. Cole went on to drop 4 Your Eyez Only and KOD; both albums found extreme commercial success, breaking numerous chart and streaming records in their wake.
Now, J. Cole is coming off the heels of the release of his new song “Middle Child,” a track that has been teased as the first single off of Dreamville’s upcoming Revenge of the Dreams III project. J. Cole’s new song comes as the precursor to his next album, rumored to be titled The Fall Off, the follow-up to 2018’s KOD.