J. Cole at the Newport

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

If you hear the name J. Cole and wonder, "Who Dat?," the North Carolina rapper is eager to explain in the single he dropped over the summer. (Apparently he doesn't remember nor care about J.T. Money's 1999 single of the same name, which posed the eternal question: "Who dat who dat who dat tryin' to get up in my crew?")

Among Cole's identifiers: "That n----- you been waitin' for," "The little engine that could," "The one." It's too early to tell whether he'll last long enough to live up to such boasts, but in the meantime this track is as fine an introduction as you'll encounter, sounding properly momentous but undergirded by a party thump somewhere between 50's "In Da Club" and Busta's "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See."

One factor Cole failed to mention in his lyrical resume is that he was the first rapper signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, which should be more than enough reason to lend your ear. He'll show his live skills Wednesday with K. Michelle and CJ.

J. Cole

7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3

Newport Music Hall

1722 N. High St., Campus