When his career was in its infancy—he was the first artist signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label—expectations were high for J. Cole to become the next big thing in hip-hop music. Now it seems the North Carolina rapper was always going to blow up this way. The tour following latest studio album 2014 Forest Hills Drive reportedly grossed $16 million and sold out Madison Square Garden, then became the subject of a six-part HBO documentary series, then became a live album. J. Cole is up for a Grammy this month, tops the bill at Bonnaroo in June and is reportedly getting set to release a collaborative album with fellow game-changing young gun Kendrick Lamar. Fair to say, expectations surpassed.
His stylish success makes his new performing residency at Light Nightclub one of the most interesting Vegas bookings of the new year, not unlike Drai’s masterful grab of The Weeknd in 2015. An artist of humble beginnings and entrepreneurial spirit, J. Cole is still pointed skyward. J. Cole at Light at Mandalay Bay, February 6.