Despite a year with no new solo album, North Carolina bred J. Cole is nominated for five Grammys.
J. Cole has had his share of hit albums. He first came on the mainstream scene with his record Cole World: The Sideline Story and his latest album KOD, released in 2018, was well-received among listeners. The album dove into the topic of substance abuse which has been heavily talked about these days especially in the hip hop community.
Cole has gotten the label of being boring, but what his latest solo project did was infuse trap-style beats with his creative lyrics which made for an enjoyable album.
He didn’t drop an album in 2019, but what he did do is drop the highly anticipated compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III, which is nominated for the Best Rap Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
The album’s Best Rap Album nomination is one of five Grammy nominations J. Cole earned in what has been an off-year with Cole busy doing features and the compilation album. Along with the Best Rap Album nomination, J. Cole is also nominated for Best Rap Performance for “Middle Child” and “Down Bad,” Best Rap/Sung Performance for “The London” and Best Rap Song for “A Lot.”
“Middle Child” was a single that was released last year and was featured on the Revenge of the Dreamers III album. At the 2019 All-Star game, he performed the song at halftime in his home state of North Carolina. “Down Bad” is also on Revenge of the Dreamers III with Cole performing the track with fellow Dreamville artists J.I.D, Bas and EARTHGANG with Young Nudy also making an appearance.
“The London” is a single by Young Thug that is seen on his So Much Fun album. J.Cole appears on this song along with Travis Scott; while, “A Lot” is 21 Savage’s song with Cole featuring.
Of the four songs nominated, “Middle Child” is the only record that is totally J. Cole. It is quite impressive that without any major solo projects, Cole’s work has still been able to garner so much attention by the Grammys.
The Grammys get a lot of flack for not giving star artists awards or recognizing hip hop as a dominant mainstream art form. Artists like Lil Nas X and Snoop Dogg have not won a Grammy and a lot of people think IGOR by Tyler, The Creator was snubbed for the Album of the Year award this year.
That’s why it is so extraordinary that Cole has been able to be nominated for a Grammy with no studio album. He is one of the few hip hop artists who have been able to appeal to the commercial population of music fans, while still being able to attract interest from the streets.
While J. Cole has 11 Grammy nominations in his career, including this year’s nominations, he has never won the prestigious award. That just shows how far we still are from awarding great artists for their work. Could this be the year that he finally takes a Grammy home with help of one of his five nominations? We will see.