Job Hunt: J. Cole x Miguel Apply For Hip-Hop/R&B’s 2011 Top Spots [Feature Story]


Looking for the next artists to shake up hip-hop and R&B in 2011? We weighted the candidates and found J. Cole and Miguel at the top of the pile. Here’s how their applications checked out —Tracy Garraud and John Kennedy

Name: Jermaine Lamarr Cole l Hometown: Fayetteville, NC l Sex: M l Birthdate: January 28, 1985 l Former Alias: Therapist l Education: St. John’s University, Communications, May 2007

ο Position Desired: (Executive Vice) Greatest Rapper Of All-Time (“The guy coming for the president’s spot. I’m applying early!”)

ο Employment History:

  • Skating Rink (“It was the best. Mad girls”)
  • Campus I.T. (“Really just restarting computers when teachers didn’t know what to do, [laughs]”)
  • Bill Collector (“I can’t believe I used to do that shit”)

ο Portfolio: Jay-Z’s “A Star Is Born”; “Who Dat”; Miguel’s “All I Want Is You”; Friday Night Lights (Mixtape)


ο How have your past jobs prepared you for this position?

They taught me patience. My faith is strong—I would sit through those terrible jobs just to live in New York to keep following my dreams.

ο What motivates you?

The spirit of competition. If there was nobody good in the rap game, I’d be bored and probably wouldn’t work as hard as I do right now. When people say I’m this type of artist or I’ll never be this—I love that.

ο Is there anything on your record you’d like to clear up?

There’s a rumor going around that I got booed at St. John’s [University]. That’s an urban legend. The exact opposite was the case. My freshman year I did a talent show and murdered it, had all the St. John’s relevant lines. Everybody showed love. I almost get mad when people [mention it], because I’m like, “Yo, you fucking up my legacy!”

ο How would a close friend describe you?

I’m loyal. If it was up to me, I’d have all of my closest friends in business with me, and that’s what I’m slowly doing. I’m also moody—never an asshole, but I’m distant because I’m in my own thoughts. But the next minute, I’m mad hyped and goofy.

ο Last book you’ve read?

I just finished re-reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It’s funny, I saw the quote: “No one man should have that much power.” One of the chiefs of police said [it about Malcolm]—I didn’t know that’s where that Kanye line from “Power” came from.

ο Why is 2011 your year?

Because 2009 was getting my foot in the door, 2010 was both feet in the door—learning, getting my balance. [Now] I know all the things I need to take over. Not just for 2011, this whole next decade is my shit if I play my cards right. I really got inspired by Jay-Z [and] Eminem—I’m trying to be selling out stadiums.



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