As we all know, rapper/artist J Cole is pretty popular these days! He has his own music studio, he has hit songs such as “Power” and “Heard About You Before,” and he even has his very own fashion line!
But before all of that, he was just another struggling artist looking to make it in the music business. It takes a lot of work to get where he is now, so how did he do it? In this article, I will go into detail about some important things for aspiring artists to consider.
I will also talk about what might have helped him on his path to success. Read on to learn more!
Disclaimer: The content written in this article should not be construed as financial advice, nor am I asking you to take my word as gospel. Only you can decide if these tips are appropriate for you or not. I try to give honest opinions, but I could be wrong sometimes.
In May 2007, just over one year ago, music lovers got their first taste of what would eventually become one of 2018’s biggest artists. On May 17th, Sony Records released The Product - the title track to Cole's upcoming LP. Fans were greeted with lyrics like "I ain't never seen you look so nice/ You look good in every situation" and “Why I gotta keep talking bout my love for you?/ Cause when I'm with you, I can do anything."
The song also featured some catchy melody lines and an infectious bass line that stuck around until the very end. All these features helped propel the song into Billboard chart success, where it peaked at number six!
Since then, The Product has gone on to be certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), making over 1 million copies sold.
In 2007, when he was just 23 years old, his song “Motivation” received an award for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Song at The MTV Music Awards. Two years later it won again! This time as Best Hip Hop Track!
He also took home two more Moon Artist of the Year honors in 2008 and 2009. As well as winning Best Male R&B Vocalist twice from BET. These are significant recognitions because they indicate that people recognize his talent and success as a musician.
His first album, 2006’s Born Confident, sold over one million copies making him one of the best selling artists of all time with only Kanye West having done this before. He has since released five more studio albums.
In addition to his music career, he is also very active off stage. He produced three songs for Drake’s More Than A Man 2 mixtape which helped launch his solo career.
He made several cameo appearances in other movies and TV shows such as Love & Basketball, Claws Behind The Wheel, and Dreamchasers. His track “Can’t Stop Me” was featured on DJ Khaled’s Listen Here! Album.
As mentioned before, his first big break was as an artist when he released his debut album The Introduction in 2004. Since then, he has gone on to release several more solo studio albums!
His second major hit is actually two songs that feature on his third album Born Free. Both “Fireflies” and “Say What You Mean” have lyrics about love and how it makes you feel better.
He also includes references to Detroit and the house music genre in both songs which helped them become popular. He even made a song called “Work Hard, Play hard” off his fourth album Take Control which is about staying motivated after work and for life.
He almost didn't make it into the music business
Erm... let's just say that he wasn't always very successful. Before he became famous, he had to deal with some tough times financially. Luckily though, he never gave up and kept working hard.
As we already mentioned, his music is mostly about life as a rich black person in America. But what country his lyrics are focused on most of the time has some speculation to it. Many believe that he grew more distant with people after he visited China.
He wrote several songs off The Warm Up EP and The No Introduction Album about this experience including “China”, “Autobiography”, and “Been There”. All three of these songs feature an Asian narrator who seems to be telling their side of the story.
Some Chinese listeners claim that they understood certain lines or references in the song but was too busy looking up the word to really focus on the meaning behind them. Others say that they were totally lost because there were no translations for some parts!
Another theory is that he made changes to the way he pronounces words due to how different the accents sound in Asia compared to here in America. A similar thing happens when musicians mix English and French phonemes together which doesn't make sense but sounds good at first.
In 2007, when he was just 19 years old, rising rapper Cole O’Brien founded his own recording studio and music production company called Dream Chasers Productions. Two years later, in 2009, he launched his very first solo album under his given name, which is how most people now know him.
In 2009, nineteen year old B-boy/rapper Phenomenon Rakim Mayfield made his feature film debut in Tyler Perry’s comedy hit starring Oprah Winfrey, More Than A Woman.
Mayfeld played Kevin, one of two friends who go out looking for love after their romantic encounters fail.
The movie is very self-referential (it features several references to itself), but it also heavily alludes to other films and genres (like buddy movies).
So how did this twenty something get into acting? Let’t start with his dramatic skills! As hard as that may be to believe, he didn’t learn how to act until he was well into his twenties.
He actually spent most of his life performing before deciding to try his hand at acting. He took some classes here and there, experimented with different mediums like theater and dancing, but it wasn’t until college when he really got serious about becoming an actor.
After dropping his first album in 2005, Jay-Z was already working hard to get his music heard by as many people as possible. He did this with various strategies that included touring, supporting other artists’ songs, or creating his own material. As he began to gain more attention, he wanted to add another level to his career — having his own successful album!
He recruited some of the best producers in the business to work with him on his second LP The College Dropout. These creative individuals helped shape not only how The Cocoa Brodey Album sounded, but also what messages it conveyed.
Jay hired Robert “Bobby” Bizier, Terrence "The Pen" Robinson, Timbaland, Juicy J, Pharrell Williams, and DJ Clue to help make his sophomore effort an even bigger success than The College Dropout. While these professionals have their own style, they all contribute something unique to the overall sound and lyrics of The Coachella.
What makes The Cocoa Brodie2 special is its catchy melodies and lyrical content about love and life. Many songs focus on relationships and family, which are always important topics. Others talk about going after what you want, and coming together to achieve your dreams.
Overall, The Cocoa Brokely Album conveys a message of being true to yourself, living your dream, and appreciating those around you.
As mentioned earlier, his career really took off when he signed with Epic Records in 2007 as an artist. He quickly found success with songs like “Love Your Body” and then later, “Powerful.”
He also released his first album under his own label, No Label Before Wazup! In late 2008, just before Christmas, he dropped his debut album The Documentary which included his breakout hit song "My Life My Rules."
It is important to note that even though he has been very successful as of late, this didn't happen overnight.