Big K.R.I.T. - Live From The Underground (Album Cover)
This is the artwork 4 my debut album “Live From The Underground”. It’s a representation of how I feel about underground vs mainstream music. At times I feel like mainstream music operates on a totally different planet. This illustrates how I’ve crash landed into the mainstream to bring the sounds from the underground back 2 the forefront. I want to thank everyone for all their support of my journey so far. Especially Team Big K.R.I.T. and my K4L supporters. I put twitter and facebook backgrounds in here for y’all to put on your pages. Let’s make history on June 5th… – K.R.I.T.
Big K.R.I.T. - Road Less Traveled (Episode 1)
With footage of the first stop on Big K.R.I.T. and J.Cole‘s Campus Consciousness Tour floating around the net, Steve-O-Graphy, the man behind many a great Krizzle photo, teams up with Red Bull to give a polished visual recap of the first week of his recent road trip.
GREENSBORO — This wasn’t the same J. Cole.
Somewhere it struck me. Somewhere between the impromptu road trip, which that took me back to my college town with new acquaintances, following a three-hour thunderstorm delay that jeopardized the concert, and eventually seeing the masses that waited out the storm flock back to White Oak Amphitheatre, it struck me.
It struck me that J. Cole had ascended to a new plateau.
No, this wasn’t revealed to me because of the scantily clad 20-something woman nearby on the lawn, belting out every word as if it were written just for her, sporadically screaming, “I love you, baby.”
Saturday night in Greensboro, Cole put on one of those shows you tell people about as a moment. For me, it was when I realized he may be onto something for the long haul.
Putting Cole’s accolades aside, including this year’s Grammy nomination, the most striking thing about the brilliant performance he put on as the headliner was the polish it of it all.
This wasn’t the same rapper I saw in October in Charlotte, nor was he the same rapper that’s made the late-night television rounds since September’s release of “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” The rapper I saw Saturday seemed so far removed from the modest venues he’d cut his teeth in, because he was every bit the rock star his accolades would have you believe.
Throughout the show, Cole was the ringmaster of an extremely polished circus. He commanded the stage differently. He commanded the audience differently. He — along with an awesome live band and DJ Dummy — even sounded different. What was even more interesting was the wide net of fans that had been hauled in, clinging to his every bar.
This was the epitome of crossover, and it had never been so clear to me that Cole had achieved that. Sure, there’s Jay-Z, the big name behind him, but I had never seen the crowds and response that correlate with that clout until Saturday. The singles weren’t just doing gangbusters. It was the introspective mixtape cuts that resonated with people as well.
What was plainly obvious was the work he had put in. The time on international tours with artists like Rihanna was really paying off. If you can rock an arena in Berlin, why not crush an amphitheatre in familiar surroundings.
Some could argue he owed people that show for waiting it out, or he owed his home state that performance, but in the crowd, it felt like we owed it to him to rock so hard with him for not believing early on. For overlooking how hard he’d continuously put on for us in the national spotlight.
That strange, underlying, mutual appreciation permeated the show.
As Cole’s set wrapped up and he began his thank yous — in a fashion he clearly borrowed from Jay-Z’s Madison Square Garden performances — those around looked at each other silently hoping to validate that we’d witnessed the same thing. In the barrage of his band ending with a bang, you could sort of tell that Cole noticed something different, too.
Between thanking the two universities for hosting him and making a smooth one-handed catch of some women’s underwear launched on stage from the crowd, Cole began telling a story about some of his previous visits to Greensboro. He explained what it was like to be a new artist to have your CDs pressed up, only selling them for $1 just so people can hear you, but getting no response. He knew what we all knew: those days were over.
One thing hadn’t changed though. The last words he said before leaving stage in flurry of drums, keys, flashing lights and a crowd still caught up in the moment: “I’m J. Cole and I’m from Fayetteville, North Carolina.”
That will never change.
- Michael McCray, fayobserver.com
Campus Live Radio catches up with Big K.R.I.T. after his Campus Consciousness Tour set at NIU
It doesn’t seem to be “A Sideline Story” for this heavy hitter, anymore.
Grammy-nominated artist J. Cole is gearing up for his tour stop Wednesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. The “Work Out” and “Can’t Get Enough” rapper is headlining the Campus Consciousness Tour with opener Big K.R.I.T.
This spring marks the 10th Campus Consciousness Tour which was previously headlined by Wiz Khalifa, Ben Harper and Drake.
The Campus Consciousness Tour is a project of the non-profit organization Reverb and was created by Guster musician Adam Gardner and his wife, environmentalist Lauren Sullivan. It aims to educate and mobilize students on environmental responsibility while keeping the environmental footprint of the tour itself to a minimum. During the tour, students are also able to register to vote.
The Northern Star sat down with Cole to talk about education and passion before he hits the Convo.
NORTHERN STAR: DeKalb is very excited to have you and Big K.R.I.T. come and perform. Can you tell me a little bit about what you’ve got in store for your stop in DeKalb?
J. COLE: This is special because I just wanna say that like, you know, I’m on this tour and a lot of rappers, especially like starting out and even older rappers just come out with a DJ. But the reason why this tour is special is because it will be the first time that I upgraded to a full band … So it’s like a full production … I guess you could say that’s what I have in store.
NS: What are you looking forward to most about getting this tour started besides making this show a full production?
JC: I’m excited to be out with Big K.R.I.T. You know, we’re new artists. And like me, he produces all his own music and writes all his own raps. He’s the total artist, complete package. So it will be cool just to go out there with K.R.I.T. He’s such a dope artist. So that’s what I’m really looking forward to and also getting back to colleges. I love performing at colleges. The energy is totally different and way more appreciative. School is love.
NS: This tour seems to be based around the education and awareness of students on many different levels. And I know that education is something you are very familiar with, being Magna Cum Laude at St. John’s University. Can you tell me how important education is to you?
JC: Absolutely. College gave me more time to grow up. You know what I mean? More time to figure out myself and my life and, of course, along the way, I learned a lot of things, valuable and educational things that I didn’t know about the world. I majored in communication, so there’s so many things I know now about the communication world from advertising to media to television production and screenplay writing. But really college just gives you more time to grow up and figure out what you really want to do with your life … So I’m a big supporter of everybody going and at least getting their Bachelor’s.
NS: I know you have a great deal of tenacity and drive, to say the least. What advice can you give to students that may be struggling to follow their own dreams?
JC: Man, just keep going, believe in yourself and never stop. The only time you fail is when you quit. Other than that, you never fail. If you’re always actively pursuing something then it’s impossible to fail. You know what I mean? You never fail until the day you quit. As long as you believe in yourself man, it will happen for you. You just can’t stop. You just gotta keep going.
After wrapping up the Campus Consciousness Tour in the beginning of May, J. Cole will be joining Drake’s Club Paradise Tour alongside Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and French Montana through mid-June.
If You Go
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: NIU Convocation Center, 1525 Lincoln Highway
Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased at the Convocation Center box office, ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets and by phone at 800-745-3000. NIU students receive a $5 discount with a valid NIU OneCard at the NIU Convocation Center box office.
Check out Big K.R.I.T.’s DJ, DJ Wally Sparks! Read the article here.
Win tickets to see J. Cole & Big K.R.I.T. at one of these 5 schools!