J. Cole Explains Keeping Friday Night Lights A Shining Part Of His Career (Video)

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In the last year, J. Cole has stacked his career accolades with a gold-certified, #1 charting album with no features in 2014 Forest Hills Drive. The Roc Nation MC continues to complement his benchmarks with a steadfast connection to his fans and causes. When marches and protests have taken place, the North Carolina native can be found in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri as well as his current hometown of New York City. When the rapper-producer double-threat does a tour, he goes back in his fan-lauded mixtape vaults, and charges a mere $1 to attend.

The film, titled “J. Cole: Road to Homecoming – This Is What You Wanted (Episode 3)”, is the third part of the lead up to Cole’s recently announced HBO Concert Special (January 9, 2016), where he will join the likes of Beyonce, Bono, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and, Roc Nation mentor, Jay Z, as a part of the network’s vaunted series.

This one looks at the role of 2010’s Friday Night Lights mixtape in his career. Cole and his squad open up about how the tape, compromised of album-intended songs was their way of challenging the old guard label system. Cole made moves (and music) that Jay and the other execs at Roc Nation and Sony/Columbia Records could respect, and that led to them making him a priority. He says, “Me putting it out for free was a reaction to feeling handcuffed.” He revisits what the songs, the vibes, and that time in his career means to him. Then, Cole—preparing for the aforementioned Dollar And A Dream Tour II (the second time he charged a buck to see a show), explains why he’s committed to going back into his catalog, despite his abundance of new, acclaimed music. As this series is getting at, J. Cole is a cinematic artist, worthy of documenting his moves.

In the video, you’ll see Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Rihanna, Omen, DJ Dummy, and much, much more.

Related: This Film Shows The Amazing Story of The Release Of J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive (Video)