J. Cole Details
You have to admit that “J. Cole went platinum with no features” is a pretty funny meme. Cole fans repeated the axiom so often that it took on a life of its own on the internet, becoming a mocking catch-all response to pretty much anything. On the other hand, any rapper that inspires such passion from his fans must be doing something right. Plus, J. Cole didn’t just go platinum with no features—he went double platinum.
The double platinum album in question is, of course, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, J. Cole’s best-selling and most critically-acclaimed project to date. And not only did Cole do all the rapping on the album himself, but he earned a producer’s credit on 10 of its 13 tracks, too. It brought about a broader recognition of his talents than any of his other works, but it’s far from his only triumph. In fact, all of his albums have gone platinum, starting with Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011. It’s no coincidence that he was blessed with a Jay Z feature (“Mr. Nice Watch”) on his debut studio album; he’s signed to Jay’s Roc Nation label. Sophomore effort Born Sinner and his latest album, December 2016’s 4 Your Eyez Only, also are certified platinum, the latter representing a second “platinum with no features” accomplishment. Many fans of Cole, however, assert that some of his best work came from when he was giving away his music for free. Mixtapes The Warm Up (2009) and Friday Night Lights are still in the regular listening rotations of many rap fans who grew up in the 2000’s.