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3 Things You’ll Learn From J. Cole’s HBO Special

J cole

If you’re still sleeping on J. Cole, it’s time to wake up.

The 30-year-old is an award-winning rapper and producer with three classic mixtapes and studio albums.

His latest, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, was the first LP in 25 years to go platinum with no features.

Oh, and did we mention he’s nominated for three Grammys this year?

If that’s not enough to rouse you from your slumber, maybe his new movie will.

Titled J. Cole Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming, the HBO concert special follows the emcee as he travels back to his old stomping grounds of Fayetteville, NC – the last stop of his 2015 world tour.

Not only does he deliver an unforgettable performance, but he also interjects gems of inspiration and knowledge throughout the flick.

The documentary-style film premieres tonight, so we’re giving you a glimpse of what’s to come.

Check out these three lessons you’ll learn from the special.

Hometown Hero

Unlike many emcees, J. Cole didn’t hail from New York or Los Angeles. He grew up in Fayetteville, a town mostly known for its U.S. Army Fort Bragg installation. But don’t let its small stature fool you. The metropolitan area faces large-city issues that may surprise you.

The lyricist takes us on a tour of his hood, introducing us to the people and places that helped mold his character. Those same circumstances also encouraged his move to the Big Apple. “Growing up it felt like there was no opportunity here,” he says. “My dream for Fayetteville is that people can wake up and realize that anything is possible if you want it.”

Family Affair

If you think you’re Cole’s biggest fan, you haven’t met his mother. The Army vet raised him and his older brother, teaching them to embrace their creativity and reach for their highest goal no matter how massive it seemed.

“I’m so grateful to have you still in my life. A lot of people ain’t got their mothers, and I recognize that I’m blessed,” the star expressed in his “Note to Self” track.

You’ll hear from the leading lady in his life and other family members, including his Dreamville crew, who witnessed Cole catapult into superstardom.

The Showstopper

“I tell myself, ‘Yo, appreciate the moment even if it’s just these five seconds on stage. Just feel this moment really,'” he said.

Attending this lyricist’s concert is something you must place on your bucket list. He trades the overelaborate production for a more intimate vibe that helps you better understand the origin of each song he raps.

He knows exactly who to call to amplify the thrill, too. (Hello Drake and Jay Z!)

Intermingling older hits with the entire 2014 Forest Hills Drive project, he puts on a show like no other.

Watch J. Cole Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming tonight, Jan. 9 on HBO at 10 p.m. est. But first, catch up on his 4-part mini docuseries, Road To Homecoming, on vimeo for the full experience.