Special to CSMS Magazine
Jermaine Cole, also known as J. Cole, was born on January 28, 1985 in Frankfurt, Germany. His parents were in the military. As a baby, his mother moved with him to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he was raised. Jermaine fell into rapping at age of 12, when his cousin from Louisiana spent the summer with him at his hometown in Fayetteville. It was his cousin who taught him the basics of rhyming. Jermaine was instantly hooked onto rapping. Since then, he delved deep into the music of hip hop luminaries, including Tupac Shakur, Nas, and also Outkast. He learned from them a love for telling stories with an unbridled firmness in his lyrics.
Early on, Jermaine saw a lot of opportunities in writing. At the age of 15, he had already conceived tons of composition notebooks full of rhymes, but no beat of his own to go with them. Determined to create his own songs, he begged his mother for a beat machine so he could produce his own music sorely for himself. His mother decided to make his wish come true by giving him a beat machine. Jermaine spent his free time creating sounds and songs that would lay the foundation for what his style has evolved to today.
By the age of 17, Jermaine was posting songs on internet forums such as Canibus-Central.com under the alias The Therapist. Feeling the needs to be heard, Jermaine used college as a tool to pursue his dreams. He attended St. Johns University on an academic scholarship; he chose that school so that he could be in the heart of the music industry: New York City. After polishing his sound and graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jermaine dropped his debut mixtape, properly titled The Come Up hosted by DJ On Point. Jay- Z signed Jermaine after listening to one of his songs Lights Please. Prior to releasing his second mixtape, he released the single, Show Me Something for promotional purposes. He released his second mixtape The Warm Up on June 15, 2009.
They compare Jermaine with another artist that goes by the name of Drake because they both came out the same time, two light skinned boys that grow up in the suburbs. They both have similar up bringing such as being raised by single mothers. In contrast, Jermaine talks about world issues while Drake talks about his own personal issues.
Jermaine Cole is the new hot commodity out there, right now, in the hip hop business. Critics say that Jermaine embodies hope for a new day in the hip hop industry. With such diverse display, Jermaine is poised to wake up a dormant industry and cement his name in the pantheon of famed artists like Curtis Blow, who pioneered the hip hop music. But more then that, with his debut studio album currently in production, he hopes to change the tide of current rap music, convincing it in a more perceptive, meaningful and passionate direction.
Note: Isgaelle Isma is a freshman at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. She wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.