Jermaine, you didn’t let Nas down! On the first of a three date London tour, J.Cole smashed his first London date of 2013. Great visuals, fantastic interaction and a well-selected set list, J Cole started his London tour with a bang.
The night started off with Tim Westwood DJing to warm up the crowd. Say what you want about his persona, but the man knows how to DJ and knows how to warm up hip-hop lovers. With a large Hip-Hop mix and a little bit of Bashment, Westwood got the crowd pumped and ready for J.Cole and one of his artist, Bas.
Bas came on the stage, humble, ready to perform and unknown to a few of the spectators. But once he did his verse on “New York Times” everyone remembered who he was. During his 20 minute set he bought on Omen which was a nice way to warm up the crowd for J.Cole.
Now it wasn’t the best concert of 2013, however, it will be a great stepping stone for Cole. With a range from Born Sinner, Cole World, Friday Night Lights and The Warm Up, Cole kept the crowd entertained and further developed his relationship with his London fans. J.Cole started with a video of a news report saying the rapper had been involved in a car crash, before his live band took to the stage and he kicked off his set with “Trouble” from Born Sinner.
The Born Sinner himself was sippin’ Hennessey so easy, you’d think it was flavoured water and “dancing” to the beat like a mad man! This only enhanced his performance because of the great amount of energy he was giving and receiving from the crowd. As more Henney hit his system, more classics were performed. He went back to the mixtapes with “Lights Please”, the singles from Cole World such as, “Work Out” and “Nobody’s Perfect.” And obviously cuts off his recent material such as “Forbidden Fruit” and “Runaway” and it is not as long as Kanye West’s live performance of “Runaway”.
As the night went on, J.Cole went on to have a one to one with the crowd and in true live performance style introduced his live band. Each member of his seven person band played or sang their own rendition of one of his several hits which was well received from the crowd. As he interacted more with the audience, Cole began to take suggestions from the masses for what they wanted to hear. I had never seen this before from a live performer, and it was a fantastic touch which shows Cole does care about his fans. He took several of the suggestions and performed “Back To The Topic”, “Let Nas Down” and “Lost Ones”.
To end the concert he did a two song encore ending on “Crooked Smile” and “Power Trip”, arguably the biggest tracks from Born Sinner. Ending on these two tracks was a superb way to end a fantastic night.
So what’s next for J.Cole? Well after selling out all three shows at Hammersmith, he will be back in 2014 at the o2 Arena! London must be on of his favourite places to perform. He said some places he feels like JayZ and others J-Kwon. Yesterday he felt more like JayZ and this is not a shock seeing that he will be at the o2 next year. So I guess that means another album? Another mixtape? Well whatever happens before then, Cole is on the right tracks and being able to work with JayZ, then he could have the Hip-Hop game in his palms.