J. Cole

It's hard enough to catch the eye of a guy like Jay-Z doing just about anything, but to be the first artist signed to Hov’s Roc Nation label as both an MC and a producer—that's impressive. But North Carolina-born J. Cole deserves his own spotlight. Lyrically, he’s responsible for aggressive 16-bar flows and cerebral verses that refrain from succumbing to tired-sounding lyrical laziness, and sonically he’s classic yet impressively nuanced. Fresh off his stellar Friday Night Lights mix tape and in advance of delayed debut full-length Cole World (now expected sometime in December), you can bet on a set filled with the earnest, honest, pure music that catapulted J. Cole to hip-hop’s forefront. With K. Michelle, CJ Hilton, Cool Nutz. NICK FELDMAN

Wed., Nov. 24, 8 p.m., 2010

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