Concert Preview: J. Cole at DAR Constitution Hall

Now that you have officially completed the first week of your second semester, there is one way—and one way only—for you to properly treat yourself: a J. Cole concert.

Two weeks from now, on January 30th at 8:00 p.m., J. Cole will be performing at the DAR Constitution Hall as part of his What Dreams May Come Tour.

This 28-year-old rapper first made a name for himself in the industry in 2009 by signing with Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation, as well as dropping mixtapes of The Warm Up (2009) and Friday Night Lights (2010) that laid the groundwork for his major label debut. In September 2011, he released Cole World: The Sideline Story, which earned him much more than just raving reviews: he managed to snag the top spot on Billboard 200 albums chart—and a nomination at the 54th Grammy Awards.

Today, Cole is seen as one of music’s most respected, successful, and sought after rap lyricists. Having not only created underground favorites with Wale (“Beautiful Bliss”), Reflection Eternal (“Just Begun”) and French Montana (“Diamonds”), Cole has collaborated with some of music’s biggest stars (Jay-Z, Beyoncé, or Kayne, anyone?)

His sophomore album, Born Sinner, initially spent its first two weeks at No. 2—trailing behind the also-debuting Yeezus. But quickly Cole was able to push to the top and secure yet another No. 1 spot. Naturally, music critics were eager to compare the work of these two hip-hop sensations. August Brown of the Los Angeles Times felt that Cole’s album was a pleasant contrast to the “flamboyance” of Kayne’s album. “[Born Sinner is] a quieter, self-examining rap record that’s short on audacity but long on workman-like singles,” Brown wrote.

Mark Beaumont of The Guardian also applauded the rapper’s success and ambition. “… Cole is a little short on the sublime side here to be considered classic. Still, ‘Crooked Smile‘ with special guests TLC is a genuine, mature step in the right direction and will have no trouble reaching vintage age. A handful of other numbers carry that same weight, making Born Sinner a daring step forward for Cole and an exciting attempt at mastering Jay’s Blueprint style,” Beaumont said.

Even though you might need to shell out a bit of extra cash for this concert, Vox definitely believes that it will be worth it.

The show is at 8:00 p.m. on Jan. 30 at the DAR Constitution Hall and costs between $42 and $62.

Photo: HDShootsPhotos via flickr

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