Entries tagged with: J Cole
iLoveMakonnen at Warm Up last week (more by PSquared)
Buzzy, Drake-approved rapper iLoveMakonnen had two NYC shows scheduled including one for tonight (9/12) at Gramercy and another for September 25 at Baby's All Right. Tickets for the Baby's show are still available, but tonight's Gramercy show has been cancelled. Refunds are available. Instead, Makonnen will now play another NYC show on Tuesday, October 21 at SOB's. That's the first night of CMJ but it's not clear yet if it's an official show. Tickets are on sale now. Stay tuned for possibly more CMJ shows.
Makonnen isn't the only good hip hop show in NYC that was recently announced. Here's a roundup of a few of the others...
Open Mike Eagle, whose great Dark Comedy LP came out earlier this year, plays a NYC show on October 14 at Glasslands with an all-around impressive lineup of Serengeti and Billy Woods. Tickets are on sale now.
Power 105.1 Powerhouse returns to Barclays Center on October 30 this year with J. Cole, Ne-Yo, Jeezy, Kid Ink, T.I., Childish Gambino, French Montana, Migos, Tinashe, and another newly buzzed-about rapper, Bobby Shmurda, whose single "Hot Nigga" has gone pretty viral thanks to Bobby's "Shmoney Dance" in the video which since inspired the song "Shmoney Dance" by Rowdy Rebbel, featuring Bobby Shmurda. You can watch both of those videos below. Tickets for Power 105.1 Powerhouse are on AmEx/Live Nation presale now, with a general on-sale starting Monday (9/15) at 10 AM.
Joell Ortiz of Slaughterhouse is releasing a new album, House Slippers, and celebrating on Tuesday (9/16) at SOB's. Tickets are on sale.
Fabolous was supposed to play BB King's on August 23, but that show ended up being rescheduled to September 27. Tickets are on sale and all tickets from 8/23 will be honored. Fabolous also plays the Def Jam 30th anniversary celebration at Barclays Center.
Those are of course just a few of the many great hip hop shows coming up in NYC. Other previously discussed shows include Vince Staples, Tyler the Creator, Wu-Tang / Dipset, The Weeknd / Schoolboy Q, Vic Mensa / Iggy Azalea, Ab-Soul (which Bas was added to), Big K.R.I.T., Joey Bada$$, Run the Jewels, Flatbush Zombies / Underachievers and still more. What else?
Bobby Shmurda videos below...
photos by Ellie Pritts
Outkast / Nick Cave / Modest Mouse
Headliner OutKast took the stage with a more pertinent query: "Are you ready for the greatest rap group of all time?" It was classic rap hype, and yet as the ensuing 90 minutes proved, the recently reunited duo of Big Boi and Andre 3000 has earned the right to include itself in the ranks of the hip hop elite. Not only did these guys show no rust, they reminded us what made them great since their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmusik, was released 20 years ago: a dynamic and utterly complementary MC team blessed with rare musicality, lyrical ingenuity and stylistic audacity. From frenetic opener Bombs Over Baghdad to the understatedly anthemic Wheelz of Steel, civil rights party jam Rosa Parks and the song that made them a household name, Ms. Jackson, they were at once authoritatively engaging and sonically adventurous. Sure, there were hits, lots - including irresistible genre-bender Hey Ya! (delivered by André 3000 with a line of female fans dancing on stage - cheesy, but effective), sly boast So Fresh, So Clean, and the beautifully sleepy Elevators - but it's all relative. At its best, OutKast mixed cool and creativity like nobody's business. [Montreal Gazette]Taking place over the same weekend as Lollapalooza, and boasting a similarly huge lineup, Montreal's annual music festival Osheaga went down over this past weekend (August 1-3). The stacked festival included sets from Outkast, Jack White, The Replacements (with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong), Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Danny Brown, Mac Demarco, Against Me!, The Dismemberment Plan, Haim and many more. Pictures of some of those artists, and a bunch of others, are in this post.
They continue below...
by Andrew Sacher
Ab-Soul's been talking about his new album These Days... for a while now, and it finally came out today (6/24) via TDE (not Interscope). Like his fellow Black Hippy members Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar did with their recent albums, you can tell Soulo went all out here and really wanted to make an "album" with multiple interludes, smartly placed guest spots, and well-executed transitions from song to song. Kendrick and Schoolboy Q appear on the LP, as do Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Lupe Fiasco, Jay Rock, SZA, Jhene Aiko and more, plus excellent production from Corin Roddick of Purity Ring, DJ Dahi of Pac Div, J. Cole, Dave Free, Sounwave, and Tae Beast of TDE regulars Digi+Phonics and more.
Ab-Soul's love of drug references and tripped-out sounds are all over the record, but it's not a one tricky pony drug-rap album or anything. Like good kid, m.A.A.d. city and Oxymoron, there are the songs for your headphones, the songs for parties/live shows, and plenty that go both ways. He quotes Drake, mimics Chief Keef, and shouts out a particular trip to New York: "I'm on my way to NYC, last time I was there I swear I sold out SOB's." Presumably he's referring to this show.
Ab-Soul will be on his way back to NYC to headline the 4Knots afterparty on July 12 at Webster Hall with YC the Cynic and Jarren Benton. Tickets for that show are still available. His buddy Schoolboy Q will be in NYC for a Central Park show this week (tix).
Stream These Days... in full below...
J. Cole at Governors Ball 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Rapper J. Cole announced his second annual 'Dollar & A Dream' tour. Like last year, the premise of the tour is that Cole goes on a tour where he announces the venue day of the show, and admission is $1 at the door on a first come, first served basis. The tour kicks off in London and hits NYC on July 15. Cole will reveal the venue on his Twitter so stay tuned for that.
All dates are listed, with the tour flyer, tour trailer, and a video, below...
Vampire Weekend / Interpol / James Blake / Pikachu
"New York cares." That's what the audience sang with Interpol's Paul Banks during the city indie anthem "NYC" as Governors Ball 2014 neared its close on Sunday. Throughout the weekend some of the city's finest bands had made a return to festival stages, secured headliner statuses and played the most memorable sets of the fest for home crowds. For Interpol, it has just announced a new album, played two excellent new tracks and Sunday's show at Governors Ball was the band's "First home show for us in a long time." A set heavy on the classics, Interpol played through "Obstacle 1," "Slow Hands," "Narc," "Evil" and "Stella Was a Driver and She Was Always Down." [Reverb]The 2014 Governors Ball music festival wrapped up yesterday (6/8) after two other days of music on NYC's Randall's Island. The third and final day had sets from Vampire Weekend, Interpol (who along with The Strokes and Jack White's set featuring White Stripes songs, brought us back over a decade), James Blake, The Kills, J. Cole, The Head and the Heart, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and more. Luckily, with today's rain and Thursday's, the weather held out for GovBall all weekend (unlike last year). Pictures of day 3 are in this post.
The annual Bumbershoot Festival returns in 2014 to Seattle's Seattle Center from August 30 to September 1. The lineup was just announced and includes The Replacements, Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis Costello, Schoolboy Q, Afghan Whigs, The Dismemberment Plan, Nada Surf, Bobby Womack, Danny Brown, Mac DeMarco, Twin Shadow, Big Freedia, Jonathan Richman, Mission of Burma, The Dream Syndicate and many more. Full lineup below.
Tickets, including 3-day passes, any-day passes, and single-day passes, are on sale now. Check out the full day-by-day lineup, with the announcement video, below...
Phoenix @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As you may know, the 2014 Governors Ball happens at Randall's Island from June 6-8. Individual day line-ups have been announced with Outkast, Phoenix and TV on the Radio headlining Friday (6/6), Jack White, The Strokes and Skrillex headlining Saturday (6/7), and Vampire Weekend and Axwell ^ Ingrosso headining Sunday (6/8). You can check each day's full line-up (though set times are still TBA) below.
Additionally, individual day tickets go on sale this Friday (4/4) at noon, with a limited Citi cardmember presale beginning Wednesday (4/2) at 10 AM.
Daily Governors Ball 2014 lineups below...
Montreal's Osheaga Festival is returning this year from August 1 - 3 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The lineup was just announced and includes Outkast, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, The Replacements, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Local Natives, Haim, SBTRKT (who's streaming a new EP), Pusha T, Gogol Bordello, Cut Copy, Flume, Chance the Rapper, Gesaffelstein, Danny Brown, Four Tet, Volcano Choir, Against Me!, Joey Bada$$, Jon Hopkins, Kevin Drew, Duke Dumont, Shlohmo, The Dismemberment Plan, Courtney Barnett, Hospitality, The Men and more. Tickets are on sale now.
Check out the complete lineup below...
It's looking like official Festival Lineup Announcement Day with Shaky Knees Fest, Hangout Fest, and Governors Ball giving us their rosters (not to mention Firefly and Coachella in the past week), and now here's another one: Georgia's CounterPoint Festival. It goes down from April 25-27 in Kingston Downs and features Outkast, Janelle Monae, Schoolboy Q, Run the Jewels, Chance the Rapper, Thundercat, Rustie, Sleigh Bells, Matt & Kim, Major Lazer, XXYYXX, J. Cole, Tourist, A-Trak, Flosstradamus, Phantogram, Tycho, YACHT and more.
Tickets are on sale now. Full lineup and flyer below...
Governors Ball 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew that Outkast would be headlining this year's Governors Ball music festival, which goes down on NYC's Randall's Island from June 6-8, and now, one day after the lineup of Firefly Fest was announced, and a few days after we found out who was playing Coachella, the full lineup has been announced. It includes Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Julian Casablancas, Disclosure, Spoon, Broken Bells, Damon Albarn, James Blake, Neko Case, The Kills, Grimes, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, Washed Out, Earl Sweatshirt, Kurt Vile, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Run the Jewels and many more.
UPDATE: The Strokes are playing too!
Tickets go on sale today (1/15) at 3 PM. Full lineup and flyer below...
Janelle Monae at The Apollo in 2013 (more by Luis Ruiz)
VH1 is presenting the Super Bowl Blitz Concert Series which features J. Cole at Queens College on 1/27 followed by Janelle Monae at Lehman College on 1/28, and then TLC at Beacon Theatre on 1/30, in addition to concerts by Fall Out Boy, Goo Goo Dolls, and Gavin DeGraw. Tickets for the J. Cole show go on sale today (1/10) at noon. Ticket info for the Janelle Monae and TLC shows TBA, so stay tuned. Full schedule for the concert series below.
The J. Cole show happens one day before his previously announced tour hits the Theatre at MSG (1/28), which now appears sold out.
There's also another Super Bowl concert presented by Time Warner Cable Studios happening at the Highline Stages from January 27 to February 1. Those include Fox Sports 1's Thursday Night Super Bash with Kings of Leon on 1/30 and one hosted by Diddy's Revolt TV on 2/1 with Drake and Diddy. Head here for more information and a chance to gain entry to these shows.
VH1 concert series schedule below...
by Andrew Sacher
Rakim at Rock the Bells 2010 (more by Eric Townsend)
It's the new year, and like every year, there's a ton of great hip hop shows coming up in NYC, especially a lot this month (and of course a few announced for the months after that). So while you're trying to stay warm during the coldest winter, here's some of those shows you might want to check out:
As discussed, Jay Z brings his Magna Carter World Tour to his stomping grounds of Barclays Center on Sunday (1/12) and Monday (1/13). If you can't make the Brooklyn dates, or just still need more Hov in your life, there's other nearby dates happening at Mohegan Sun (1/17), Nassau Coliseum (1/19), and Prudential Center (1/22). Tickets for those shows are still available.
A bunch of golden-age rappers are joining forces for the Masters of Ceremony show at Radio City Music Hall on January 24 with DMX, EPMD, Rakim, Naughty by Nature, Brand Nubian, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Biz Markie, and Black Sheep. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Another long-running NYC rapper, Talib Kweli will play the second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at SOB's on January 19, and this one also honors the late Nelson Mandela. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Also at SOB's on January 27, producer 9th Wonder will celebrate the release of his label Jamla Records' Jamla is the Squad compilation album. Statik Selektah hosts for the night, and the show will also feature ADD-2, Rapsody and the entire Jamla team -- Actual Proof, HaLo, GQ, Heather V and more -- with special guests. Not sure whose those guests will be, but the album features appearances from Jadakiss, Styles P, Talib Kweli, Elzhi, Phonte, and more. Stream a 9th Wonder-produced Rapsody track from the compilation, below. Tickets are on sale now.
Dom Kennedy, who's notably collaborated with Curren$y, Schoolboy Q, Casey Veggies and others, plays NYC on January 28 at Irving Plaza with Skeme. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Another Dom Kennedy collaborator, Nipsey Hussle, plays NYC on January 24 at Highline Ballroom with Erk the Jerk and The Kid Daytona. Tickets for that show are on sale now. Nipsey recently released a new track, "6in Heels," which you can stream below.
Waka Flocka Flame plays NYC on January 27 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Other upcoming hip hop shows happening a bit later in the year include Cam'ron at Stage 48 on 2/20 (tickets), Shaggy at Brooklyn Bowl on 2/25 (tickets), and Slaughterhouse at Best Buy Theater on 4/26 (tickets).
And Kanye West just announced a tour.
These are just a few of the upcoming hip hop shows in NYC. What else?
Vampire Weekend @ Roseland in April (more by Robert Altman)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Weekend is looking to be Official Year-End List Day, as we've already got SPIN, and Paste, (plus ones from UK mags Q and Mojo) and now here's the one from elder rock statesman Rolling Stone, who have Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City in the top spot, with Kanye West's Yeezus at #2. RS' Top 10 also makes room for John Fogerty, Paul McCartney, Lorde and more. Haim are at #31 for those keeping score. You can check out their entire Top 50 LPs of 2013 list (which includes a couple EPs) below...
by Andrew Sacher
J. Cole has been doing a fair amount of touring this year for his newest album Born Sinner -- which if nothing else, spawned the Miguel-featuring "Power Trip" single, one of the catchiest rap songs of the year -- and he's just announced another North American run for 2014. The new dates include another NYC show happening on January 28 at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for that show are on fan presale now and general on-sale starts Friday (11/15) at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.
The newest Born Sinner single is "She Knows," which features Dirty Projector Amber Coffman and samples Cults' "Bad Things". Cole just played the song on Letterman this week, and you can watch that video, along with the list of tour dates, below...
Just today we were saying how Schoolboy Q would be in the NYC-area for Rock the Bells in October, but the East Ruthford, NJ Rock the Bells stop has been cancelled. DC is
possibly cancelled too. More details as we hear them.
UPDATE: The promoters confirmed & issued a statement.
The NJ festival would have happened on October 4 and 5 at Meadowlands Racetrack with Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Wu-Tang Clan, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown, Joey Bada$$, J. Cole, Rakim, Big Sean and more.
You can still catch Kendrick, Schoolboy Q, and Big Sean in NYC at their Barclays Center show in November.
J. Cole at Warm Up - 8/17/13 (via @kahdijah)
The already packed crowd somehow found room to move even closer to the stage as Jermaine came on for the shortest set of the concert. While his DJ and keyboardist were having a blast with "Can't Get Enough," "It In The Morning," and "Nobody's Perfect," girls mindlessly screamed and guys shouted the lyrics along with Cole. It was sort of a homecoming for J.Cole as he showed love back to the city that supported him early in his career. He even tested the diehard fans by pulling out "Lights Please." Of course there were the few fans who threw up the Roc, but by in large J.Cole had come into his own as an artist and not so much the rapper who Jay Z signed. [The Source]Warm Up at MoMA PS1 continued on Saturday (8/17) with sets from Hyperdub DJ King Britt (who brought out Saul Williams), Danny Brown collaborator Darq E Freaker, Brooklyn rapper Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Queens rap crew World's Fair, and more. It also included the man behind one of this summer's best rap jams ("Power Trip"), J. Cole, who had one of the biggest crowds of the day. The above review is of his set, and you can check out a video of him performing "Can't Get Enough" and "Chris Tucker" at Saturday's show, below.
Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire also just played Webster Hall (pictures HERE and HERE) with Run the Jewels (aka Killer Mike & El-P), who were just announced on a free show happening at Williamsburg Park on Labor Day (9/2) with Danny Brown and others (RSVP).
Warm Up continues this Saturday (8/24) with Caribou (DJ), Museum of Love (DJ), Pional, Empress Of, Terreke, and SFV Acid. Tickets are still available.
by Andrew Sacher
Darq E Freaker
Danny Brown, who has a tour with Action Bronson on the way, is saying he'll release his new album, Old, at some point this October, and he just released a new song (that may or may not appear on the album) produced by London's Darq E Freaker. The song is called "Hand Stand," it's a real banger, and you can stream it below.
Meanwhile, Darq E Freaker will be in NYC this weekend to play Warm Up at MoMA PS1 on Saturday (8/17) with King Britt (Hyperdub), J. Cole, Bangladesh, World's Fair, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Star Eyes, and Jubilee. Tickets for Warm Up are still available.
Before Warm Up, Darq E Freaker will play a True Panther party in Brooklyn TONIGHT (8/16) at Cameo with Hyetal (who played Warm Up last weekend), Zora Jones and Throwing Shade. Tonight's party runs from 10 PM to 4 AM and admission is $5 at the door.
Then on Saturday after Warm Up, True Panther is hosting an unofficial party at Williamsburg Italian restaurant ISA's upstairs space (348 Wythe, right by Death by Audio) with some of those same names, including Hyetal and Zora Jones (who DJs b2b with Sinjin Hawke), in addition to A$AP's DJ J. Scott and Loric (of Water Borders, who played Warm Up in 2011). That one goes from 10 to 3 and is FREE.
Stream "Hand Stand" below...
Killer Mike at Pitchfork Fest 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As discussed, Killer Mike and collaborator El-P have teamed up as the duo Run the Jewels, the name under which they released a free album back in June. That duo are also on a tour this year that hits NYC on Wednesday (8/14) at Webster Hall with Despot and Kool AD. Since we last spoke, Brooklyn rapper Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire (who has opened for them before) has been added to the show as well. Tickets for the Webster Hall show are still available, and we're also giving away a pair. You can enter our contest on Facebook for a chance to win.
Exquire also plays NYC even sooner when he plays Warm Up at MoMA PS1 on August 17 with King Britt, J. Cole, Bangladesh, Darq E Freaker, World's Fair, Star Eyes, and Jubilee. Tickets for Warm Up are still available.
Updated dates are listed, along with a download widget for the Run the Jewels album, below...
A$AP Rocky & Joey Bada$$ in Austin in July (more by Tim Griffin)
As mentioned a few times, Rock the Bells is returning to a few cities this year, including East Rutherford, NJ's Meadlowlands Racetrack from October 4-5. The two-day hip hop festival has just announced its final additions, including A$AP Rocky (and his A$AP Mob), Joey Bada$$ (and Pro Era), Trinidad Jame$, Logic, Stalley, Young Dirty Bastard, and Odd Future's The Internet.
They join previously announced names like Wu-Tang Clan, Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Juicy J, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown, Rakim, Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, Pusha T, Earl Sweatshirt, Big Sean and more.
A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, and Trinidad Jame$ just swung through the NYC-area when their tour with Wiz Khalifa hit PNC Bank Arts Center on 8/2 and Jones Beach last night (8/6).
Danny Brown and Action Bronson just announced a tour leading up to their Rock the Bells NJ appearances.
We also just mentioned that The Internet play NYC this month.
Full Rock the Bells NJ lineups, day-by-day, are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Drake at Made In America 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As you may know, Drake has been dropping a handful of tracks ahead of the release of his new album, Nothing Was the Same (due out 9/17), though it's never been exactly clear which of these will actually end up on the album. His newest, "Hold On We're Going Home," sounds like Drake going Marvin going MJ, and it's sounding pretty dope this morning. Check out a radio rip, along with a stream of his other recent single, "All Me" (feat. 2 Chainz and Big Sean), below.
Drake's previously discussed tour with Miguel and Future hits the NYC-area on 10/26 at XL Center, 10/27 at Prudential Center, and 10/28 at Barclays Center. Tickets for those shows are still available.
Drake just played his annual OVO Fest last night (8/5), and the insane show included Kanye, The Weeknd, J Cole, Miguel, TLC, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean and more coming out to join him and perform their own songs. The setlist and new song streams below...
Big Sean at Rock the Bells 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Hip Hop festival Rock the Bells, which hits a few cities this year, has expanded its lineup once again. The NYC-area stop, which happens in East Rutherford, NJ at the Meadowlands Racetrack from October 4-5 will now also include Big Sean and Chief Keef. Other stops on the tour now include A-Trak (LA, DC) and Iamsu (LA, San Francisco).
They join previously announced names like Wu-Tang Clan, Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Juicy J, Tyler the Creator, Danny Brown, Rakim, Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies, Pusha T, Earl Sweatshirt, and more. 2-day passes for the festival are still available.
Updated NJ lineup below...
As mentioned, hip hop festival Rock the Bells is returning in 2013 to a few different cities including East Rutherford, NJ at the Meadowlands Racetrack from October 4-5. In addition to previously announced names like Black Hippy (aka Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock), Common, Juicy J, Danny Brown, Tyler the Creator, Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thuz N Harmony, Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha T, Big K.R.I.T., Flatbush Zombies and more, the lineup has been expanded to include even more.
Joining the artists mentioned above will be the reunited Deltron 3030 (though they only play the LA and San Francisco stops), Big Daddy Kane, Action Bronson, J. Cole, Rapsody & 9th Wonder, Freddie Gibbs, Freeway, KRS-One, RIff Raff, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, Sean P, Smoke DZA, Wale, YG, and weirdly enough, Girl Talk and Pretty Lights. 2-day passes for the festival are still available.
Updated lineup below...
Rapper J Cole released his new album, Born Sinner, this week, and on Wednesday (6/19), he brought his tour in support of it to NYC for a show at Irving Plaza. During Cole's set, Drake came out to perform his verse on "In The Morning," after which Cole said to Drake, "You got classic records... could you please do some shit I guarantee they all will know?" Drake then stuck around to perform his song "Say What's Real" and his huge recent single, "Started From the Bottom." Check out a video of Drake's whole appearance at J Cole's show below.
Meanwhile, as mentioned, Drake is kicking off a tour of his own this year with support from Miguel and Future. That tour comes to the NYC-area on October 26 at XL Center in Hartford, October 27 at Prudential Center in Newark, and October 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. TIckets for those shows go on sale today (6/21) at 10 AM.
J Cole at Pier 36 in 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
As mentioned, rapper J. Cole released his new album, Born Sinner (listen on Spotify), this week and is celebrating with $1 shows in select North American cities. The venue for each show is being announced day-of, and it's been announced that tonight's NYC show will be at Irving Plaza, and the only way to get in is to go down to the venue and pay the $1 at the door, starting NOW (2 PM). Wristbands are being given out - first come, first served.
(UPDATE: this post originally said there were two shows tonight, and while you never know what might happen, we are now being told it's actually just one show for now).
by Andrew Sacher
J. Cole was a pretty exciting rapper around the time of his Friday Night Lights mixtape, but that excitement died down a bit when his debut album for Roc Nation, Cole World proved to be mostly mediocre. Still, something about Cole makes you want to root for him, and that's stirred the excitement up again for his second official album, Born Sinner (due out June 18). The album's not an instant classic, but it's a much better and more consistent release than its predecessor.
The guest spots feel carefully chosen, the only ones coming from Miguel, Kendrick Lamar, Dirty Projector Amber Coffman, the two surviving members of the recently-reunited TLC, and Justin Timberlake's songwriting partner James Fauntleroy. But even with major names like those, the guest appearances always tend to take a backseat to Cole, who really runs the show (he wrote and produced almost the entire thing himself). Unfortunately, that does cause it to get a little one-dimensional at times, but when Cole is on ("Power Trip" and the title track are early highlights), he's making some pretty impressive music. Stream the album in its entirety, along with the "Power Trip" video, below.
Cole will be celebrating the album with his Dollar & A Dream tour, which begins in Miami tonight (6/11). For that tour, he'll be hitting 11 cities and each show only costs $1 to get in. The catch is that the venue won't be announced until the day of the show via J. Cole's twitter, and there's no advance tickets. You have to pay admission at the door, first come, first serve. The tour hits NYC on June 19.
You'll also be able to catch Cole at a NYC show that you can get advance tickets to when he plays Warm Up at MoMA PS1 on August 17. That show includes other rappers, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and World's Fair, in addition to producers King Britt (Hyperdub), Bangladesh and Darq E Freaker. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with the video and album stream, below...