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J. Cole & Drake: “Bonded By Date”

Posted by J. Tinsley on June 15, 2010

Certain dates in Hip-Hop stand out more than others.

September 13 marked Tupac Shakur’s last day on Earth. March 9 saw The Notorious B.I.G. take his last breath. September 11 may be the genre’s greatest oxymoron with indeliable images of the Twin Towers falling on the same day Jay-Z released his now classic album The Blueprint. And June 25 saw Twitter shut down and the world almost literally stop upon realizing Michael Jackson was no longer with us. Yeah, unfortunately, many of the dates we remember center around the culmination of one’s time here on Earth.

However, June 15 is the exact opposite. It is beginning to signify new life. In no way, shape or form will this date ever be more important than the ones mentioned. Yet, it is interesting (and almost weird) that two very important and influential projects dropped on this day exactly one year apart.

In June of 2009, Fayetteville’s own J. Cole was still a relatively unknown MC whose Jay-Z co-sign was raising the brows of many. His first tape The Come Up provided him a foundation and with the impending release of The Warm Up only raised expectations. Much like the first, TWU was to feature original production and showcase the talents and struggles of a young man who moved to New York for school in pursuit of music aspirations. June 15, 2009, marked the day Cole’s life and career would change tenfold. The respect level for his music began to increase with each download and venues began opening their stages for the St. John’s graduate.

Just like that, people were beginning to catch on. Three months after its release, Cole found himself alongside Jay-Z on The Blueprint 3 and delivering two of the best verses of 2009 on Wale’s “Beautiful Bliss” and Reflection Eternal’s “Just Begun.” Nationwide tours, the occasional song leak here and there and the anticipation for Cole’s debut album is beginning to make serious waves in the crowded ocean that is Hip-Hop. A true example of how life can change so drastically in a year, that is what Cole is. Even with resume’ not as extensive as other peers, his reputation is already that of the game’s fastest rising lyricists – drawing comparisons to Nas.

Light-skin Jermaine has achieved feats already he likely never deemed possible. He’ll probably be the first to co-sign this statement. But that’s the beautiful thing about a year – so much can happen. And over the next year, so much will.

June 15, 2010. Today. Although it has been pirated on the Internet for well over two weeks now, Drake’s debut Thank Me Later hit shelves today marking the finale of a (and the start of another) unfathomable ride. When Drizzy released his now critically acclaimed So Far Gone back in February 2009, I had no clue it would catapault him to the levels it eventually would. Was it a great mixtape? By every account, yes it was. However, with the saturation of music being what it is, part of me wondered if it would get lost in the fold.

Turns out I was thankfully wrong and the kid who was once known was “Wheelchair Jimmy” rose to heights very seldom seen. SFG was lauded as an album and saw “Best I Ever Had” basically become the summer song of 2009. He had successfully crossed the line of females wanting to be with him and male fans respecting him. He was Hip-Hop, but pop. Edgy, yet commercial. At this point, the features (and eventually Grammy performances) came steamrolling in and the hype for his album reached a fever pitch last fall. He had Hip-Hop in a chokehold and even with his mentor Lil Wayne facing a year long prison stint in Rikers, he seemed to embrace the pressure.

Now with today being what it is, June 15 marks the first day of the rest of Drake’s career. The birth of something new. No longer an immense talent with no product to show. The birth of potentially Hip-Hop’s next marquee act. Only time, however, truly knows the answer to that.


5 Responses to “J. Cole & Drake: “Bonded By Date””

  1. J.Cole and Drake remind of how people used to think of Jay-Z and Nas. Jay-Z had the commercial appeal and could make the bangers just like Jay-Z and Nas was the Street Poet who made the craft commercially viable.. I just hope J.Cole can get the sales needed to carry on and that Drake does not run out of ideas or does a Lil Wayne and just goes plain crazy.

  2. […] J. Cole & Drake: “Bonded By Date” Certain dates in Hip-Hop stand out more than others. September 13 marked Tupac Shakur’s last day on Earth. March […] […]

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  4. jSUBTLE said

    i used to be a drizzy fan,like i used to think i was his number one fan since 07 since room for improvement n even looking back at it, but cole has me now i mean he just realer to me, n’ i feel his shit no doubtz n’ hez with RoC Nation they put it dwn no doubtz right? Im sure wit J.Cole on the rise n wayne in prison, they finna take over

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