KATELYN DI SALVO
St. John’s University graduate and former Queens Courier employee Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known as J. Cole, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Sunday night, but unfortunately lost out to mentor Jay Z.
J. Cole first received recognition in 2007 with the mix tape “The Come Up,” which was followed by two more mix tapes in 2009 and 2010; “The Warm Up,” and “Friday Night Lights.” In 2009 J. Cole was signed onto the Roc Nation Label, under the guidance of Jay Z. The Roc Nation rapper’s debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” sold over 200,000 units in its first week.
In a 2011 interview with Courier sister publication Aspire magazine, J. Cole praised Jay Z.
“His advice is the best advice. Every time he gives advice, I realize why he is where he is. It wasn’t an accident—he really did study the game and he really knows what he’s talking about,” he said.
His most recent album, “Born Sinner,” released in 2013, was nominated for a Grammy for the song Power Trip featuring Miguel, for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Unfortunately J. Cole lost to Jay Z for his collaboration with Justin Timberlake for Holy Grail.
J. Cole is currently touring the world, promoting the “Born Sinner” album.
Before making it big, J.Cole worked at The Queens Courier in 2008 as a part-time sales telemarketer selling classified ads.
“It was the only job I could find that was real flexible with the hours; so I could go to the recording studio and be up real late and then go in to work at, like, 1 p.m,” J. Cole told Aspire.
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