J.COLE // MOTORPOINT ARENA, NOTTINGHAM

J. COLE KICKS OFF HIS '4 YOUR EYEZ ONLY WORLD TOUR' UK DATES IN NOTTINGHAM

J. COLE
PICTURE BY: MEADOWS FEST - GETTY IMAGES

★★★★

J. Cole is one of the strongest and most intelligent rappers of this moment. Since 2011, the American has already made four starred albums. His hip hop is a tribute to the relaxed beats of the 1990s, proving himself to be a master storyteller. Especially the personal numbers are powerful and make him a Nas-inspired Drake. Still, he is often in the shadow of Kendrick Lamar. Where Lamar sometimes puts his message explosive, J. Cole has to have his calm and introvert style. 

The two work well together. Various productions of J. Cole were used by Kendrick Lamar. The fame of J. Cole is also slowly rising well in UK. In 2016 he was last performing in UK at Wireless Festival which takes place in London, tonight he's playing Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena.

This is also quite right. The rapper is live strong. The calm rapeseed are sharpened. J. Cole has an emotional power that you do not expect. As soon as he is on stage, the introverted relaxation is gone. J. Cole mixes emotions by the songs. It is arranged from a calm narrative to a screaming climax. It makes the music intense.

The decor enhances this feeling. At the start of the performance, J. Cole is released from prison. The rest of the performance he takes in a prison suit. Behind his back is "property of" written. It is a call for more equality for African Americans. Halfway through the performance, J. Cole tells the story behind 'Neighbors'. Cole lived in a white suburb and once saw group of agents entering his house in search of drugs. On video screens we see the recorded invasion. The song is live a true highlight. Cole starts calmingly, but soon, the band sets a rock rhythm and feels J. Cole's disappointment.

J. Cole's father was an Afro American and his mother was a German. This makes J. Cole conclude in an interview that he knows what it's like to be blank but never heard of it. This dual background makes him a good observant who translates his observations to music. On a jazzy rhythm sounds already in the opening "I Have No One, I'm Lonely, My Bridges Have Burnt Down". The feeling to be lost in the world is enhanced with the decor. J. Cole stands alone for the prison doors with two agents on each corner. The band only shows us through the video images. Cole, however, has the power to fill the entire stage with his personality and at the same time you identify with the rapper. The whole Motorpoint Arena seems to be lost in the world. Without big hits on the bag, many songs are being added. Few artists know so much togetherness. Let alone hip hop artists. Tonight, J. Cole proves to be the top of modern, socially conscious hip hop.

J. COLE'S UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

Sat October 14th 2017 - BIRMINGHAM Arena
Sun October 15th 2017 - LONDON The O2 Arena
Mon October 16th 2017 - LONDON The O2 Arena
Wed October 18th 2017 - DUBLIN 3 Arena
Fri October 20th 2017 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Sat October 21st 2017 - MANCHESTER Arena
Sun October 22nd 2017 - LEEDS First Direct Arena
Fri December 1st 2017 - AUCKLAND Vector Arena
Sat December 2nd 2017 - BRISBANE Riverstage
Tue December 5th 2017 - SYDNEY Hordern Pavilion
Wed December 6th 2017 - MELBOURNE Margaret Court Arena
Sat December 9th 2017 - PERTH HBF Stadium

REVIEW BY: JACK SOMERVILLE