What Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Chain Means for J. Cole

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J.Cole "What Dreams May Come" Tour - New York, NYJ. Cole is having one hell of a birthday week: the Carolina-bred rapper started his own Interscope-backed record label, released a mixtape that features artists from his fledgling label, and was gifted Jay-Z’s original Roc Nation chain by the man himself during a stop at Madison Square Garden. The moment left Cole speechless and was followed by streams of congratulations across social media using the hashtag #ChainingDay.

The presentation of the chain wasn’t a co-sign or stamp of approval— Jay did that five years ago when he signed Cole as the first artist on his Roc Nation label. Instead, it was Jay’s way of passing the torch to signify that J. Cole has officially arrived as one of the industry’s finest.

But what does this all mean for Cole’s career?

Absolutely nothing— at least not at this moment. The buzz around his name will certainly increase, but Cole doesn’t necessarily have to grind any more or any less than he already has been for the past seven years.  If the moment has to be analyzed, it should be considered an omen to a transfer of the responsibility of upholding the legacy of the Roc from Jay-Z to J. Cole when the day comes.

This could mean some added pressure on Cole as all eyes will be on him as the handpicked predecessor of the Roc, but that shouldn’t be new to him as he’s been pressured for radio hits and album success in the past.

Ironically, the symbolic chains of jewelry Cole was trying to escape in the song Chaining Day on Born Sinner have found him once again, but, being chained to the Roc doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea.

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