This is a subject that I've seen float around on Twitter a lot since J. Cole went gold in two weeks with a very minimal (almost non-existant) marketing plan and other artists did less with way more.

The way I see it, the answer is as simple as to each his own
To elaborate, I decided to go through my three recent favourite album roll out strategies and what makes them strategies even though it does not obviously look like it.

J. Cole is an artist that is NOT out there, you have artists posting Instagram posts and tweets everyday but J. Cole is not one of them. Therefore when he is active on these social networks you pay attention because it's rare and when it does happen, there is a purpose behind it. Cole studied communication so I believe that he know what I know and one of my favourite takeaway from my 3 years of studying communication: the medium is the message.



Two days ago J. Cole released his third album and you can read my post below to see what I think about it. 
It's great. It's everything that I love in J. Cole's music and more.

Today, J. Cole performed on the Late Show with David Letterman it was perfect.
You would think that two days after their album is out, any performer would perform a song that is in the album to promote said album and I love J. Cole for not doing that.

3 months ago, after Michael Brown was killed by a cop, J. Cole release a poignant song as a reaction to the murder of Michael Brown and against police brutality against black people. He then proceeded to go to Ferguson and walk with the people as one of them and not as a famous rapper there to pull a PR stunt. He talked to people and listened to them.

Fast-forward to last week, when the cop who choked Eric Garner to death is not convicted. J. Cole goes out in the streets of New York and walk with the people, this is 5 days before the release of his album.

If you listen to J. Cole's music, you know that police brutality has always been something that he rapped about.

Back to today, J. Cole performs on Letterman and he performs Be Free.
(with a verse dedicated to Obama & the lack of change)

It's not every artist that would use their platform, during the week of the release of their third album, 
to bring awareness to a bigger problem and it's something that needs to be noticed and heard.

If you've read this post, please take 4 more minutes to watch the video above.

This is the reason why I am a fan of J. Cole and fan is not a word that I throw around easily.
He does things from the heart & does not use fame as a blinder to ignore what's going on around him. 

unrelated: Jay Z is the one that delivered 'I CAN'T BREATHE' shirts to the Net players before their game but he did not wear one, he met Kate & William during this game. Could you imagine the statement it would have been to have pictures of Beyoncé, Kate Middleton, Prince William and Jay Z wearing a 'I CAN'T BREATHE' shirt? These pictures were all over the news the day after. 

(& fuck money, spread love - Dreamville.)


"If you ain't peep the trend by now with each rap I go up"

J. Cole's new album drops in one day and I am way too excited for the reaction it's going to get. Let me start this by saying that I am a BIG J. Cole fan so this post is not objective at all but it's OK because this blog is where I post what I like.

J. Cole announcing his new album on my birthday was the best gift ever and the realization of my (tweeted) premonition.

I'm in love with J. Cole's songs and can spend a whole day listening to him without skipping a beat and one thing I love about him is the consistency in his story.

"I only make classics, what that take? timing. Cole under pressure, what that make? diamonds"

From The Come Up to - now - 2014 Forest Hill Drive, Cole delivers the same message: dream, believe, work, be true to yourself and achieve and by listening to his songs chronologically you see the growth, the hustle and the progress that he made to get where he is right now. He takes you through his memories and makes his stories so vivid that you feel like you're with him in that moment. This is an art that only a few can master and J. Cole has been doing it for years. Listening to his music got me feeling like I've been to Fayetteville in North Carolina and makes me feel the joy he felt when he moved to a bigger house where he didn't have to share a room with his brother anymore because these are recurrent subjects in his songs that he just brings to us differently every time. On top of making me connect with him, it makes me feel like I too can achieve anything by putting in work day in and day out and not giving up and I love that. I also love finding connections between his songs.

"Let these words be the colors I'm just painting my heart."

His new album is no different from his older projects in the sense that it's still the same message that he delivers but this time with more conviction and more fire. He said it in revenge of the dreamers "I'm in the zone this year, it's all fire". And I'm not joking when I say that ever since that line I've been anticipating his new album like December 25th when I was a kid. If you've ever listened to Heavy, Return Of Simba, Blow Up, Looking For Trouble (J. Cole had the best verse on that song, hands down); you've had an idea of what J. Cole on fire sounds like but this line made it feel like something bigger than a fire song here and there and that's exactly what we got with 2014FHD.
An album that's insanely good from the intro to the thank yous.

I really wanted to wait until the release of the album to listen to it but seeing tweets, snaps about it plus the fact that I waited for it for so long made it impossible for me to wait & I am not mad I gave in at all.

With 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole is showing everyone what we (Dreamvillains) have known for years: that he's the greatest. No matter from what angle you look at it this album is perfect, it's the perfect balance of thug songs and love songs (& nobody does a good rap love songs like J. Cole) and all that with that Cole quality. Lyrically this work is a perfect representation of Cole's whole repertoire: we get the stories about him growing up, his family, about his relationship with fame and his peers, about where he sees himself in the spectrum of who's the greatest (with the perfect finish to Fire Squad to squash all that once and for all - if another rapper comes again with that God b*llsh*t I'm gonna be pissed) and the eternally elusive mentions of his girlfriend fiancée. The production on this album has me going crazy and this is especially true for the G.O.M.D.'s beat. The different levels in this song are completely ridiculous, it's a track that lasts 5:01 minutes and have you feeling like you've been listening to it for hours. Like Cole said that sh*t is retarded, I can't and will not get over how good it is. This song makes me want to learn how to produce to be able to come up with beats like this one. Plus the way that his words land on this beat (or that the beat makes place for his words - I can't even tell, that's how good it is) is flawless. If you are to only listen to one song on this album please let it be this one, in one song you get the thug part and the part that the thug skips.

I can't wait for 9/12 so I can hold a copy of this album and for the announcement of his tour to promote it. I've seen him twice in 2014 and I can't get enough. Plus I need to meet him and have a conversation with him, I am a fan of this man's mind and I need to interact with him to have a better understanding of it. In his words: he got my mind infatuated, absolutely fascinated with the thought of what he might be like.


Released December 9, 2014 Forest Hills Drive is a concept record about how a boy discovered his purpose, written from the perspective of a superstar rapper questioning the facets of fame. It is a meditation on the value of love relative to worldly success. And it is an extraordinary work from an artist who continues to grow and create.   The narrative is a tale of Cole’s and also serves as a series of metaphors that complete a story of passion, growth and ultimately reflection.  It’s an album to ingest as a whole with the sum of its parts creating the full tale.
Known for his reflective lyricism, J. Cole attributes his musical identity to the house where, crucially, he had his first ‘own bedroom’. “Having my own room allowed me turn into who I am. I enjoy privacy, I enjoy being by myself. That came from having my own room. Having my own room allowed me to shape myself.”

Here are the two videos he released to promote the new album and the first one feels like it's the music video for Before I'm Gone.

One of my favorite sounds of life has to be J. Cole's broken voice when he sings and this intro delivers just that with a great message to go with it

If you follow me on twitter I apologize for the endless tweets about Cole,
hopefully writing this will help me chill.