J. Cole broke records at the end of 2014 by having the first album in 25 years to go platinum with no features. His album 2014 Forest Hills Drive reached this level of success without any promotion singles. Many artists wondered how Cole pulled this off, but anyone who has followed J. Cole can see that it was his loyal fans who helped him get there. J. Cole didn’t need any features or singles because his fans were going to support him regardless. Take a look at three qualities that gained J. Cole his loyal fans and three songs from the album that portrayed those qualities.
1. He keeps it real.
J. Cole climbed the charts by keeping it real with his fans. He never hesitates to talk about the issues going on in his life. Fans are captivated with his point of view and the wisdom that he displays through his music. J. Cole didn’t try to be something he wasn’t by portraying a false image. He let his fans know that he was just a book-smart kid who knew how to make good music.
In some of J. Cole’s earlier music, he talks about how he had a “dollar and a dream.” Keeping it real has allowed fans see the true growth of J. Cole. He wasn’t acting like he had money when he was broke; that allows fans to watch his true journey. In the song below, he flashes back to when he was 17 to gives fans an even deeper look.
2. He tells stories.
J. Cole’s found his niche in storytelling through music. He can paint a picture for listeners and make them feel as if they were actually a part of his life. Most of Cole’s music has to do with his past, and it seems that he expresses himself through his music. J. Cole also tells stories of other people he has encountered.
One of the most popular songs on his latest album is called “Wet Dreamz.” How many fans can say they know how their favorite artist lost their virginity? J. Cole shared this story with fans, gaining many more in the process.
3. He stays down-to-earth.
J. Cole is extremely down-to-earth, which shows through his music. Unfortunately, fame can take a toll on even the humblest of people. J. Cole decided to leave the Los Angeles limelight and humble himself by buying the house that he grew up in; he even invited his fans to a listening party at his “new” pad. In his music, Cole talks about his struggles between being “the old him” and the person he has become.
J. Cole gave his listeners some valuable advice in his song “Love Yourz”, reminding them to love what they have. Every artist should be a mentor; they should tell fans what they wish they would’ve known.
After you take a look at the type of artist J. Cole is, it is no surprise that his album went platinum without any features. J. Cole offers his fans honesty, advice, and guidance. Cole acknowledges that he is not perfect, and he genuinely wants his fans to avoid his mistakes. When you care about your fans that much, they care about you even more! Learn from J. Cole; then maybe one day you will be able to have a platinum album without any promotional features.
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Shauna Respass is a writer in every way, whether it be music, poetry, articles, think-pieces, or screenplays. She also enjoys listening to music, reading, discussing viewpoints on various topics, and spending time with her dogs, bunnies, and snakes.