Tonight I attended J. Cole’s concert at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, only a few hours from his hometown Fayetteville, North Carolina. With his hair grown out to record lengths as it morphed down into his beard, from afar, Jermaine Lemarr Cole bore a close resemblance to Canadian singer The Weeknd. Regardless, the night was an unforgettable one; YG, Jerimih, and Big Sean provided some much anticipated opening numbers, (especially Sean, who got the stadium bouncing with several of his best hits). Once the sunlight died away, Cole entered the stage and the crowd erupted. To start off, he offered to perform his complete album Forest Hills Drive, which was met with another erutpion from the crowd.

As most (good) performers do, J. Cole interacted well with the audience between sets . But one totally unexpected surprise for me was how funny he could be! His introduction of the Los Angeles girl who inspired No Role Modelz was easily the most entertaining non-musical part of the show. Furthermore, during the breaks, Cole discussed potent topics such as the unattainability of the American Dream, the resonant power of self confidence, and most importantly the importance of love.

There was not one dull moment throughout the whole set. Honestly, I don’t think anyone sat down again after J. Cole walked out on stage. His vibe was so magnetic and joyous, and truly great that it was impossibe to be present during those 2+ hours and not be jamming out.

Towards the end of the set, Jeremih came back out to give us a taste of Planes, their summer smash hit. As soon as the first bars were heard, people came racing through the stands; just before, J. Cole had (sarcastically) turned the lights off and said “Peace out Charlotte,” so those who were hasty to walk out were locked out by the Event Staff when Cole started singing seconds later.

To be honest, this was the best rap concert I’ve ever attended (even though I couldn’t afford a spot in the pit). His goal to ultimately connect with every kid in that stadium was somehow met, and I don’t think any other artist coud have done it better.

 

Visit the Purple Bars Instagram (@purplebarsblog) to check out exclusive videos from the concert.