2014 Forest Hills Drive (Edited)
Who is J Cole? Plenty of people asked that question when Jay-Z signed the North Carolina rapper to his new Roc Nation venture in 2009. But online rap fiends were already aware of the young emcee's densely lyrical style, thanks to his widely distributed mixtape The Come Up. A track from that mixtape, "Lights Please," became J Cole's first official single; meanwhile, he landed cameos on Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3, as well as albums by Wale and Reflection Eternal. In 2010, he dropped another single, "Who Dat." Amidst preparations for a proper full-length debut in 2011, he continued to attract a big audience with MP3s and mixtapes like Friday Night Lights.