Review: 10 Thoughts On J. Cole’s ‘Dew Tour’ Kickoff In Brooklyn

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A venue with a skatepark out back wouldn’t be your first guess as to where a J. Cole show would take place, but that may have been the best part of his show in Brooklyn last night (Sept. 18). Taking the stage for a private headlining set at the House Of Vans for Mountain Dew’s “Dew Tour” kickoff, Cole offered a hip-hop opening to a weekend of BMX and skateboard competitions. Here are 10 thoughts on why it worked. – Iyana Robertson

1. This was not your usual J. Cole show. There was no Hunger Games-type battle for one-dollar tickets, or saving up by members of his nearly cult following for the best seats in the venue. It showed, but also proved hip-hop and Cole to be a force.

2. Questlove aided in the night’s culture melting pot – which also included an opening performance from indie pop band The Bleachers – by hitting the turntables for a segway into Cole that featured everything from Michael Jackson, to Salt N’ Pepa, to Jay Z, to The Clash, to Lenny Kravitz. (Seriously, #QuestloveDJMyLife)

3. Cole was not oblivious to the fact that this crowd is different, but it doesn’t change his M.O. Though often acknowledging that this particular event is “exclusive,” “after work,” “intimate,” and that your “boss is standing right there,” he proceeds to urge you abandon any sticks up your ass.

4. Of the seven-song selection for his short set, Cole wedged in a little something for everyone: first album singles, second album singles and mixtape cuts. The only thing missing was more time.

5. Jermaine Cole is not a fan of a show full of singles and chart-toppers. In the company of the “Crooked Smiles” and “Workouts,’ he also throws in his Friday Night Lights “Back To The Topic” freestyle for good measure in an admittedly selfish move. “This one’s for me,” he admits. His day ones appreciated the gesture.

6. That awkward moment when you almost wished he would’ve performed “Be Free,” but then you realize it would have gone over almost everyone’s heads…

7. In the case of crowd participation, Cole is a heat-seeking missile. If you are turnt up and know his lyrics, he will find you.

8. And Jermaine doesn’t mind if you’re a fan of his; his ultimate goal is to “turn this bitch up.” Before hitting the crowd with “Can’t Get Enough” he says, “You’re here, I’m here, this is love in this building right now. All you gotta do is – it’s hip-hop, you just gotta follow simple instructions. It’s easy,” further indicating that hip-hop can penetrate all things. Pun not (wholly) intended.

9. The merging of BMX and skate culture with J. Cole proves you don’t have to grow up on the same block to have a good conversation.

10. At least one weave (this reporter’s) was harmed during the partaking of this show. There may have been others, pending investigation.