The music industry is dominated by flashy personalities. For those of you that have forgotten, Justin Bieber makes news for being a constant hooligan, Kanye West claimed to be a god, and Lady Gaga wears stuff like this
Yikes. Some artists have taken the “sell when everyone else is buying” approach and found a niche of normalcy without compromising their music. J Cole is one musician in particular who sticks out. He keeps a fairly low profile (chances are most of you haven’t heard of him) and does not come out with music at the rate of rappers like Gucci Mane. (Fun side note: Since 2005, Gucci Mane has released a mind boggling 87 albums, mixtapes, and EPs, a fact that is even more incredible because he spent 3 of those years in prison. It would take over 3 months of not stop listening to listen to all of his music once). Nonetheless, when J Cole’s album dropped, his first in two years, its ten songs were all among the top 11 most played songs in the US on Spotify. Instead of being erratic in public appearances, J Cole has quietly built a loyal following by doing things like turning his childhood home into a transition home for struggling families and attending a fans graduation (and offering to help her with tuition). While he obviously does not do these charitable things to “be an entrepreneur,” J Cole has found a unique value proposition: a genuine rapper who is still committed to musical artistry. And people are buying.