In 2010, it's a good time to be a rapper who doesn't fit the usual narrative. Needless to say, J. Cole is off to an excellent start. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Cole took an academic scholarship to go to St. John's in New York. When Jay-Z made Cole one of the first signees to his Roc Nation one-stop shop, he was setting some pretty high expectations. And while Hova's golden touch has elevated plenty of people in the past, not many have managed to escape his shadow. No way to know what will become of J. Cole's career, but he's two solid mixtapes and a promising lead single into it right now. He says the best stuff is on his upcoming full-length, Cole World. We'll soon find out if he's right.