How J.Cole Waited For Jay-Z for 2 Hours In The Rain To Give Him His Mixtape CD
In 2007, J. Cole was on a rap website and he read an article on how Jay Z was making his tenth studio album, American Gangster. J. Cole had high hopes of meeting Jay-Z and being signed under him.
After reading the article, J. Cole conceived of a plan on how he could make beats for Jay-Z’s American Gangster. He saw this as an opportunity, a calling from divine intervention to pursue this path to get himself in the limelight of music. He said it was as if “Gold is telling me to get on this album. So I was praying for it.” This was going to be how he was going to get on as a rapper.
J. Cole wanted to make it in the music industry and work with Jay-Z that he once made a “Produce for JAY-Z or Die Trying” shirt. Producing for Jay-Z was the reason he moved to New York, attending St. John's University instead of staying in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
With his plan in mind, Cole went to work and carefully selected all his best beats for Jay-Z. Cole and his friend got all the beats on a CD and waited outside the Roc the Mic studio in the rain waiting for Jay-Z to arrive. They had a hunch that Jay-Z would be there to finish working on the American Gangster album.
J. Cole’s scenario was straight forward. He thought "Maybe we could just slide him the CD and if we slide him the CD, he'll go upstairs and listen to it, and if he listens to it, he's gonna love it and he's gonna send down, you know, for me to come upstairs and he's probably going to sign me -- or whatever was in my head."
Two hours passed before Jay-Z showed up in a black Rolls Royce Phantom. The opportunity came, standing in front of J. Cole was the person who he had visualized, dreamt of meeting, and moved to New York for. This was the person who could hand him his ticket from his overdue rent and into stardom. As he walked up to Jay-Z, words refused to form but J. Cole mustered up the courage to approach Jay-Z and hand him the CD.
Jay-Z saw Cole and said “Man, I don’t want that.” Cole in an interview with ABC said that "I thought he was evil at that point -- cause it caught me off guard, I had such high hopes, that just one little phrase like that from him."
A year later, it was Jay-Z asking to meet J. Cole. The same person he previously dismissed. Veteran A&R Mark Pitts played for Jay-Z one song which lead to a three-hour meeting which lead to multiple meetings until eventually, J. Cole was officially the first artist signed to Roc Nation.
Things will materialize sooner or later as long as you stay persistent.