Highlights From Last Night’s J. Cole Show at Bowery Ballroom

It’s been a long time coming, but here we are, just a month shy of J. Cole’s Roc Nation debut, Cole World: A Sideline Story. Jay-Z’s 25-year-old protégé kicked off Heineken and Roc Nation’s Red Star Access Tour at the Bowery Ballroom last night, and though he’s yet to release an official album (Cole World hits September 27), he still had enough popular tracks to run through onstage, screaming out, Hov-style, I’ve got a million of these! If he wanted to, that is.

In the past year, Cole has been on a wild ride, opening for Drake in Europe, performing dates on Rihanna’s North American tour, and even killing a solo show at Bonnaroo back in June. No sweat, though, because his hectic touring schedule has only improved his live performance since we last caught him at the Highline Ballroom in December.

Cole opened last night’s show with his verse on “A Star Is Born,” his first big feature, which appeared on Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 album. Then he went here, there, and everywhere, bounding between his earliest hits, like “Lights Please” from The Warm Up, to “In The Morning” from Friday Night Lights, and his first official album single, “Work Out,” which samples Kanye West’s “Workout Plan.”


Standouts of the night included Cole’s verse on the G.O.O.D. Friday single “Looking For Trouble,” where he went so crazy on the beat that Kanye simply decided to turn it off for a few seconds and let him go nuts. Check out video footage from the show, with Cole performing “In The Morning” and his new single “Work Out.”

“In The Morning”

“Work Out”

Photo Credit: Heineken/Wireimage

Morning Links: ‘Mad Men’ Will Return, Lindsay Lohan’s Rough Night Out

● Chuck Lorre still thinks this whole Charlie Sheen thing sucks. In a vanity card at the end of last night’s Mike & Molly, he wrote, dimly, “Love, sex, food, friendship, art play, beauty and the simple pleasure of a coup of tea are all well and good, but never forget that God/the universe is determined to kill you by whatever means necessary.” [Deadline] ● Streetwear clothing line Volcom is suing Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, saying that the diamond logo Jay’s company uses is too similar to their own. It’s one thing, Volcom says, to “throw up the roc” as a hand gesture, but things get confusing when you start using it on clothes and other merchandise. [AllHipHop] ● AMC and Matthew Weiner have finally come to terms, signing a deal for at least two more seasons of Mad Men, without any cast cuts. Keeping Duck and Sally will come at a cost, though: Two more minutes of commercial time per episode. [NYT]

● Lindsay Lohan proved that old habits die hard, ending her night out in New York on the ground, surrounded by paparazzi. On twitter, she defended herself with, uh, clarity: “Is it not allowed to slip and fall? im always a klutz!!!” [PopSugar] ● James Franco thinks the Oscars were a success, not because they were good but because we’re still talking about it. “Well, as soon as you don’t host the way they want you to, they suddenly care, and they won’t shut up about it. Then they can’t hear enough about a show they don’t care about.” [PopWatch] ● Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Candice Swanepoel looks alarmingly skinny in these photos from a recent Victoria’s Secret event, just as she looks alarmingly skinny in all the photos we’ve ever seen of her. After all, she is alarmingly skinny, isn’t she? [NYDN]