Jermaine Lamarr Cole (born January 28, 1985), better known by his stage name J. Cole, is an American hip hop recording artist, songwriter and record producer from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Cole first received recognition in 2007, following the release of his debut mixtape The Come Up. Shortly after the release of The Come Up, Cole was contacted by American rapper Jay-Z and subsequently signed to his record label Roc Nation, in 2009. In that same year, Cole released his second mixtape, The Warm Up, which was itself followed by Cole’s third mixtape, Friday Night Lights, in 2010.
His debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, was released on September 27, 2011. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, Top R&B Albums and Top Rap Albums chart, selling more than 218,000 in its first week. He received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 54th Grammy Awards. Cole’s second album, Born Sinner, was released on June 18, 2013. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, however, Born Sinner later rose to number one, giving Cole his second number one on the chart. His third album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, was released on December 9, 2014 and also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, giving Cole his third number one album.