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J.Cole to headline, students excited to hear more from little-known rapper

On Wednesday, April 6 at the St. Joseph Civic Arena, rapper J. Cole will be performing for Western students. Off-stage, J. Cole goes by Jermaine Cole and was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to the age of one he moved to North Carolina where his mother raised him from then on.
Cole was the first rapper signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation. He has been in the business since 2007 when he graduated college magna cum laude. Cole is best known for his work with Jay Z on his album “The Blueprint 3” and his first two mix tapes “The Come Up” and “The Warm Up”.
Cole is not a mainstream rapper as of yet. Many of his mix tapes have went unheard by the public, but are quickly catching on. Few students follow the rapper and producers career. Missouri Western senior, Corey White has followed him for some time now.
“I have listened to J. Cole for the last six or seven months,” White said. “When I first heard of Cole and began to like his music, I downloaded some of his mix tapes and have been following him ever since then.”
Cole is known to have a different sound than most rappers in the business, but what really sets him apart seems to be the realism that comes with his performance. Ian Thompson, a senior with the business finance department, loves the new sounds he is coming out with.
“What sets him apart from other rappers is that he isn’t about what everybody else talks about,” Thompson said. “He raps about everyday struggles that the Average Joe faces on the daily. I believe that is why I can relate to his music and enjoy it more.”
Cole has written his own lyrics since he was 15 years old. By the age of 17 he was able to post his personal songs on forums and other Internet sites. White thinks the personality of the rapper is just as important than the music itself.
“I think that he has unique sound to his music,” White said. “I also am a fan of him trying to tell his story, and with him being a military kid growing up, it’s different than the normal ghetto, rags to riches you see a lot these days in the music business. Also, it shows that he has a lot of heart and dedication: when you sit outside of Rockafella Records in the pouring rain for several hours just so that he could give his CD to Jay-Z personally, which worked out great for him because he got signed soon after.”
With tickets being given away for the performance to Missouri Western students, Don Willis the assistant dean of student services noticed the tickets are not being picked up as quickly as usual,
but thinks it will not affect the turnout of the concert.
“The free tickets that are going out are a little bit slower than what we have had in the past, but there still seems to be a lot of interest by the students from what the number of tickets going out show,”
Willis said.
Some students have not heard of the rapper, but still plan to attend the performance. The tickets are free and it is a great event for students to take advantage of. Senior Tara Finley thinks it will be a good time, even if she doesn’t know the music that well.
“I have really never heard of him or his music. I plan to go to the concert and check it out anyways. People are saying his stuff isn’t too bad. I think I will listen to some of it before I go, but either way it will be a good time.”

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