North Carolina rapper and producer J. Cole and his storied signing as the first artist to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint and the pressure for the mixtape veteran to transfer his underground success to the big leagues was undoubtedly – and perhaps unfairly – high. Today (October 4), the 26-year-old St. Johns University graduate can now breathe easier after news that his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story is the #1 selling long player for the week sellling 217,000 units in its first week.
Although initially shunned by his current mentor Jay-Z when he tried to pass off a beat CD to the rap great, J. Cole impressed Jay with the track “Lights Please” which appeared on his second mixtape The Warm Up. As famously reported, Cole was signed to Roc Nation in 2009 and toiled on the road and before releasing a third mixtape Friday Night Lights in 2010. Slightly frustrated by the wait yet respectfully humble, a patient J. Cole teased and promised release dates for his album but nothing materialized.
Released last Tuesday (September 27), Cole World: The Sideline Story is currently two singles deep after an attempt in 2010 to build buzz with Cole’s “Who Dat.” The singles “Work Out” and the Trey Songz assisted second single “Can’t Get Enough” will reportedly be followed by “Mr. Nice Watch” featuring label honcho Jay-Z.
A gracious J. Cole thanked his legion of fans on Twitter after the news hit – and even resisted the urge to be a little cocky. “So many people to stunt on, fighting the urge to be spiteful. This moment is too important for that. Just want to say THANK YOU,” tweeted J. Cole.
Congrats to J. Cole for getting the #1 album!
Did you pick up Cole World: The Sideline Story? What’s your favorite track? Tweet to us at @MTVRapFix or leave us a comment below.