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Where is J. Cole from? J. Cole is from Frankfurt, West Germany, where he was born Jermaine Lamarr Cole on January 28 ,1985. The future rap star was born overseas because his father served in the U.S. Army, though he didn’t stick around Germany long. When he was eight months old, Cole moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he grew up. Cole began rapping at the tender age of 12, and by the time he was a teenager, he’d formed a group and added production to his repertoire. After graduating from high school, J. Cole left North Carolina for New York City, where he figured he had a better shot of pursuing his showbiz dreams. He attended St. John’s University, where he majored in communications and graduated magna cum laude.

Fans may be surprised to learn where J. Cole is from, since Germany isn’t exactly known for producing top-rank rap stars, but Cole was born in a U.S. Army hospital, and he’s American through and through. In 2007, J. Cole dropped his debut mixtape, “The Come Up,” and the collection ultimately caught the ear of Jay Z, who signed the up-and-comer to his Roc Nation label. Cole issued two more mixtapes — “The Warm Up” and “Friday Night Lights” — before finally bestowing on the world his debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” That 2011 LP topped the Billboard 200, as did its 2013 follow-up, “Born Sinner.”

J. Cole has certainly come a long way from his hometown of Frankfurt, West Germany, and since arriving on the scene, he’s collaborated with the likes of TLC, Miguel, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliott, and of course, Jay Z. He’s also produced tracks for a host of other artists, and he’s earned numerous awards and accolades. In January 2014, he announced the formation of his own label, Dreamville Records, and with its growing roster of artists, the imprint promises to make this German-born, North Carolina-raised multi-talent even more of a global superstar.

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