J Cole: What Dreams May Come Tour

RnB/Hip Hop | Sunday 8th December 2013 | Natasha

I first witnessed greatness at the Wireless Festival in London, Hyde Park, when J. Cole performed to a small crowd in one of the tents. His energy was carried from the stage to all those he was surrounded by. This was a pivotal moment of J. Cole’s respected journey that he recognised and acknowledged to thousands years later on his What Dreams May Come Tour at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith this month.

Opening up with ‘Trouble’ a wave of excitement spread from fan to fan as Cole walked down a few steps toward the microphone. Taking a moment and looking out to a packed arena  to appreciate the sea of supporters and fans Cole started the show.

Born Sinner is an album filled to the brim with undeniable talent and the, mostly self-produced, album speaks volumes when it comes to a man with a vision and a rapper with a gift. The album defines hip-hop, tells stories, expresses emotion and, as listeners, we are given an insight into the mind of an incredible rapper on his journey thus far. The tour gave those same feelings that Born Sinner gave the first time you heard it – remember?

J. Cole takes his shit seriously. He doesn’t mess about, or take his gift and platform for granted and I think it’s that realness that we, as fans, appreciate. Cole regularly acknowledged his beginnings – a journey of determination paired with a desire that got him signed to Roc Nation and, ultimately, to this point of his career. When Cole performed ‘Lights Please’ the crowd went crazy, a lot of fans have been involved since the early days of his journey, so the track has a lot of weight behind it. Cole, now taking a seat, performed the track alongside the crowd.

Tracks like ‘Work Out’ and ‘In the Morning’ were performed and later on in the show Cole took requests from the audience. A heap of tracks from earlier days were requested, but ‘Is She Gon Pop’ got the most recognition and love. Having never performed the track before Cole had a few words with his band and began the track as the audience performed alongside him. The moment was an organic part of the show which added to the many reasons J. Cole is one of the most humbling and respected ‘newcomers.’

Although Cole’s name seems to be missing of the Grammy nominations list, his name is certainly not missing on the hip-hop heads lists for best rap album of 2013. The beautiful thing about seeing one of your favourite artists live: getting to witness greatness with your own eyes. See you at the o2 next time Cole.

Natasha Artwell