From the moment he was signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, every move made by J. Cole was legendary. Representing North Carolina, J. Cole was hailing from an undeveloped rap scene. During the early 2000s, Petey Pablo had given buzz to North Carolina. But, following his movement, no mainstream artists came.
J. Cole was unlike the typical Southern rappers, as his drawl is barely heard on his records. Also, J. Cole has a lyrical ability unmated by most current rappers, regardless of genre. The overall style of J. Cole immediately made him one of the brightest new stars in the rap game. Mainstream hip hop fans did not have a chance to hear J. Cole until his verse on “A Star is Born.”
Despite being signed to Roc Nation, and featured on The Blueprint 3, J. Cole still did not have a solid release date. Because of this, J. Cole flooded the mixtape scene. In 2010, his Friday Night Lights mixtape proved to be his final one. A little less than a year later, J. Cole has finally released his debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story. The album was projected to sell over 200,000 copies in its first week and has done so, debuting on the top of the Billboard Top 200 albums.
With this, J. Cole has had the highest debut for a North Carolina rapper.