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47 facts about rapper J. Cole

J. Cole became the first rapper to go platinum in 25 years without features. Learn 47 facts you missed about rapper J. Cole.

1. Jermaine Lamarr Cole is better known by his stage name J. Cole.

2. He is a German-born American hip hop recording artist, songwriter and record producer from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

3. Cole first received recognition in 2007, following the release of his debut mixtape The Come Up.

4. 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.

5. In 2009, Cole released his second mixtape, The Warm Up, which was itself followed by Cole's third mixtape, Friday Night Lights, in 2010.

6. His debut album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, was released on September 27, 2011.

7. His debut 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.

8. He received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 54th Grammy Awards.

9. Cole's second album, Born Sinner, was released on June 18, 2013. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.

10. Born Sinner later rose to number one, giving Cole his second number one on the chart.

11. 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.

12. His third album reached Platinum status.

13. J. Cole became the first rapper to go platinum in 25 years without features.

14. Cole was born in the 97th General Hospital at a United States Army base in Frankfurt, West Germany.

15. His father is African-American and served in the United States Army.

16. His mother is German.

17. Cole relocated to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he was raised by his mother.

18. His father left the family when Cole was still young.

19. He has an older brother named Zach Cole.

20. Cole started rapping at the age of 12, becoming serious about it at the age of 15.

21. In his teen years he hooked up with a local group called Bomm Sheltuh, which included rappers Nervous Reck and FilthE Ritch.

22. Added record production to his repertoire and his stage name was Therapist.

23. Cole grew up in a multi-ethnic environment.

24. His childhood revolved around a love for both basketball and rap music.

25. He concluded that he had a better chance of getting a record deal in New York City, so he chose to attend St. John's University on an academic scholarship. There, he majored in communication and minored in business, graduating magna cum laude.

26. On his mixed-race background, Cole indicated in an October 2011 issue of the hip-hop magazine XXL: "I can identify with White people, because I know my mother, her side of the family, who I,love. I've had White friends. I know people from high school that I might not have hung out with outside of high school, but I think I got to know them pretty well, so I know they sense of humor. But at the end of the day, I never felt White. I don't know what that feels like. I can identify. But never have I felt like I'm one of them. Not that I wanted to, or tried to, but it just was what it was. I identify more with what I look like, because that's how I got treated. Not necessarily in a negative way. But when you get pulled over by the police, I can't pull out my half-White card. Or if I just meet you on the street you're not gonna be like, "This guy seems half-White.""

27. On April 9, 2015, J. Cole officially received his diploma from his alma mater, St. John's University, during a homecoming appearance/concert. He later revealed that he never got it, because he owed money for a library book he never paid for. "I guess they let me slide. If you have any outstanding fee, that translates to money. There's a price associated with it. I never paid. That's why I don't have my degree."

28. Cole started rapping after receiving guidance from his cousin on the basics of rhyming and wordplay.

29. Inspired mostly by rappers Canibus, Nas, Tupac and Eminem, Cole developed a love for telling stories in his lyrics.

30. By age 14, Cole had notebooks filled with rhymes, but no beats of his own to record them with.

31. His mother bought him an 808 beat machine so he could produce music himself.

32. By the age of 17, he was posting songs on various internet forums under the moniker "Therapist".

33. Cole stood outside of Jay Z's Roc the Mic Studio for three hours in order to give him a beat called "On Top of the World" in which he sampled Idris Muhammad, so that his mentor-to-be could use it. However, when Jay-Z came out of his building he shunned the up-and-coming rapper.

34. Soon after graduating college, Cole released his first mixtape, The Come Up. The mixtape was well received but wasn't awarded significant recognition.

35. Cole served as a supporting act for Drake on the Light Dreams and Nightmares UK Tour, January 5-21, 2011.

36. In April 2011, "HiiiPoWeR", a song Cole produced for Kendrick Lamar's Section.80 was released. The single was the first of many collaborations to come from the two.

37. On May 22, 2011, J. Cole released a song entitled "Return of Simba," the third in the "Simbam series" following "Simba" and "Grown Simba."

38. Cole purposely avoided releasing his debut album's title for fear of inconsistency, only announcing that Jay-Z would be featured on his debut album.

39. Cole then released his follow-up single to "Who Dat", the album's lead single, "Work Out" on June 15, 2011, in honor of the second anniversary of his highly acclaimed mixtape The Warm Up.

40. While in Barbados for his last performance as the official opening act for Rihanna's Loud Tour, Cole shot the music video for "Can't Get Enough", with Songz and Rihanna, who provided a cameo while in her homeland. The video, directed by Clifton Bell, was released on September 14, 2011.

41. His song, titled Nobody's Perfect", features renowned female rapper Missy Elliott, marking her return to music.

42. On January 28, 2014, J. Cole announced that his record label Dreamville Records had signed a distribution deal with Interscope Records, and released a label compilation mixtape titled Revenge of the Dreamers.

43. In 2011, Cole has cited Tupac Shakur, Nas, Canibus, and Eminem as his influences and calls Tupac his favorite rapper.

44. Since his success, Cole has been compared to Nas on numerous occasions.

45. He also cites rapper Kanye West and producer/mentor No I.D. as his influences.

46. In October 2011, Jermaine Cole established The Dreamville Foundation.

47. In 2014, Jermaine Cole purchased his childhood home in Fayetteville, NC for $120,000 through the Dreamville Foundation. The home had been repossessed from his mother two years earlier, while Jermaine was attending college in New York. His plan is to turn the house into a homestead for single mothers and their kids to live rent-free.

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J. Cole

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