J. Cole at Lollapalooza 2012 | Photos and music review
The first time I saw Cole at Lolla in 2010, it was an unpolished set on Perry's stage consisting of little more than a newcomer rapper stringing together as many F-bombs as he could muster.
The J. Cole who played before a respectable crowd (smaller than Florence + the Machine, bigger than Macklemore) Sunday, however, had moved beyond mix tapes and oozed with confidence from his long-awaited and wildly popular first release "Cole World: The Sideline Story." Cole has the sweet combination of slick rhymes and smooth vocals that the best hip-hop artists bring to the table.
Sure, there were still plenty of F-bombs, but Cole delivered a complex set with some nice assistance from his ridiculously fierce DJ and soulful keyboardist. He built a steady frenzy, but when he broke out his biggest hit "Work Out" (complete with samples of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up") near the end of the hourlong show, one had to wonder if his next Lolla gig will be a headliner spot.