27-year-old Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known to the music-loving public as J.Cole, is one of those rappers who doesn’t need a hype man (or posse) to keep his word-smart and street-smart lyrics afloat.
The lanky rap superstar, dressed casually but in crisp, neutral-toned attire, isn’t as new to the game as one would think either; He’s sitting on three popular mixtapes and last year’s successful studio album, Cole World, which includes AMP Radio favorite “Work Out.”
Even though his first mixtape, The Come Up, was released in 2007, Cole is nominated for a “Best New Artist” Grammy this year. To celebrate this nomination, Cole joined AMP Radio and some lucky listeners in the extremely intimate setting of the Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy Museum.
Some hip-hop artists comes into the game with a star-or-nothing sort of mentality; you can tell that, while they are talented in their own way, the main focus on their agenda is making money.
Cole is pure talent, even, one might say, a modern day poet. His onstage performance, while bolstered by his lively backing band (who sing along and do choreographed movements), is highlighted mostly by his dynamic, easy-going but completely eye-catching stage presence.
[photogallerylink id=145646]There is nothing forced about J.Cole. When he came onstage last night to perform, he seemed to glide down the aisles, coming on stage with absolutely no nervous energy to speak of and running through impeccable versions of his new song featuring [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Missy Elliot[/lastfm] called “Nobody’s Perfect,” hit single “Work Out,” and the lively “Can’t Get Enough” which was accompanied by one of our favorite musical “hat tricks” ever--the talk box.
Although the audience mostly sat for “Nobody’s Perfect,” by the time Cole started “Work Out” the audience was up and dancing. Cole warned them not to sit back down since he only had one more song left and they should make the most of it.
Warmly smiling the whole way through the set, making tons of eye contact, and thanking AMP Radio, Cole left as quietly as he came, leaving some hopeful fans hanging around to see him so up-close-and-personal just one more time.