(Photo: Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty Images)
J. Cole called his No. 1 debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, but it's pretty clear he isn't on the sidelines anymore. Last night the Grammy nominations were announced, and the Roc Nation rapper received a Best New Artist nod.
It's been a long road to the top for the North Carolina rapper, who first started making noise in 2007 with his mixtape The Come-Up. But even after finally signing to Jay-Z's Roc Nation imprint in 2009, Cole had to deal with numerous album delays and doubts from critics that he would truly make an impact.
Despite the setbacks, last year things began to truly take off for Cole, thanks in part to his inclusion in BET's prestigious Music Matters initiative and tour.
"My one-year goal would be definitely put the album out, be critically acclaimed, quadrillion albums sold, and some Grammy nominations in the mix," J told BET last year in the video below when his Music Matters selection was announced.
Album out? Check. Critically acclaimed? Check. And although he didn't quite reach quadrillion record sales, his debut album's No. 1 bow on the charts is probably the next best thing. And now, with his Grammy nod for Best New Artist, Cole achieved yet another goal.
"Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....I come from Fayetteville, N.C. S--t is unreal," he tweeted last night after the nomination was announced. "Thank you for the love. See you at the Grammys."
J. Cole will face off against Nicki Minaj, Skrillex, Bon Iver and The Band Perry in the Best New Artist category.