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J. Cole’s From Jay-Z’s Student to Hitmaker

Ever wondered how your favorite hip-hop stars climbed their way to the top? Well, let me pull back the curtain and take you on a ride through J. Cole’s journey from eager rookie to hitmaking sensation.

Now, we all know J. Cole, right? He’s that lyrical wizard who’s always in the mix when we talk about the top dogs of the rap game. But rewind the tape a bit, and you’ll find a time when Cole wasn’t all about making those chart-toppers. Nope, he was more focused on dropping what he thought would be a timeless classic.

But then, enter JAY-Z, the OG mentor himself. In a recent chat spilled over on thehiphopwolf’s Instagram, Cole spilled the beans on how Hova pushed him to flip the script and cook up some hits before dropping his debut tape. Yeah, you heard that right. JAY-Z wasn’t having any of that “let’s just make a classic” talk. He wanted hits, and he wanted them pronto.

So, what did Cole do? Well, he went back to the drawing board, but not without some resistance. It took him a solid one to two years to whip up those chart-scorchers, but man, was it worth it! Fast forward to ’14 Forest Hills Drive,’ and you see Cole in his element, effortlessly knocking those bangers out of the park.

But let’s pause and ponder. Do you think JAY-Z deserves the title of the greatest hip-hop teacher of all time? Hit me up in the comments and let’s chop it up.

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