J. Cole with Boombox Saints at the Vogue (Live) [Review]
Vancouver, B.C. - On a hot summer night, is it possible for one man to make it a Cole world here in Vancity? J.Cole is certainly well-loved here, and Tuesday night saw the Vogue Theatre on Granville full of some serious heads who were there to see the biggest up and comer in the game right now.
The show started off exceptionally with hometown heroes The Boombox Saints, who had the crowd pumping fists and waving hands in the air to every song. To see these cats perform is to see the confidence that comes with true camaraderie between members: they are family and each of them owns an individual shine, though it must be said that Huggy tore the roof down with some of the freshest and fastest verses that have come outta Vancity in a minute. With their special guest Emmalyn Estrada belting out some flawless vocals, and Hunter Pearson on board with his amazing talent on keys, Boombox Saints were untouchable last night. They were followed up by 17-year-old YouTube sensation D-Pryde, who hails from Toronto and certainly felt the Vancouver love. But the question still remained; “Are y’all ready for J. Cole?”
In the short span of a few years since signing with Jay-Z, young J. Cole has attained the type of stardom that most rappers can only dream of in the span of a long career. His songs are not bouncy southern party anthems, they are poetic and intelligible, and for the most part they are dark; Cole is serious, smart and hungry as hell. He composes pictures using pain, love, sex, need, and fear as his colors of choice. Either way, the kids were loving the shit outta the music and from the first song to the last it seemed that everyone in the crowd knew every song word for word and were busting the lyrics out. Cole performed most of his recognizable hits, amongst them was “All I want is You,” which, of course, had some of the groupies failing miserably in their standing abilities. He also did some of his more hard up songs like Grown Simba, which allowed him to really exert that presence that he has as a performer. He hit the stage with vigor, with songs like “Star is Born,” a tribute to his mentor and big brother Jay-Z.
There were only a few touches of his new album – to be released the 27th of September, 2011 – being performed, but they were nothing less of what you would expect from J. Cole. Overall, though, this show was about his fans and the hits, and any smart entertainer knows that if you hook em on the first and second releases they will most def will be back to purchase and feed off of your next release. J. Cole is the next star born.
Written by Samantha Cairns for HipHopCanada
Photography by Tyler Simpson for HipHopCanada