Even as J. Cole has stamped himself as one of the most successful rappers of this generation, he still flies under the radar when people discuss today’s popular musicians. But knowing Cole’s personality, he’s probably okay with not being on the tip of everyone’s tongue for anything but his music. And when we break down J. Cole’s net worth of approximately $15.0 million, you’ll see he’s done pretty well for himself despite not being the most discussed MC in the game. So, just how rich is J. Cole, you ask? Read on to find out!
Right now, most media outlets put J. Cole’s net worth at anywhere between $15.0 million and $18.0 million. He was the very first rapper to sign to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label back in 2009. The specifics of that deal have been almost at a top secret level, so details are scarce. But, typical label deals tend to run between three to five albums and start between six- and seven-figure payouts.
Cole has so far released three albums on the Roc Nation imprint. Cole World: The Sideline Story was the first offering from the North Carolina native. That was released in 2011 after the success of his much praised Friday Night Lights mixtape. Cole World itself debuted at number one on Billboard, selling 218,000 copies in its first week of sales and added an estimated $500,000 to the J. Cole net worth.
These are great accomplishments for a debut album, and Cole was rewarded with a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. But the “Crooked Smile” singer was just getting warmed up. His second album, Born Sinner, went on to sell nearly 300,000 copies in its first week, debuting second to Kanye West’s Yeezus on the charts, and by its third week, it was again a number one offering from Cole. That album added approximately $600,000 to Cole’s earnings.
His most recent album has been his most successful. Forest Hills Drive flew to number one on the Billboard charts, selling 375,000 (354,000 pure album sales) copies in its opening week. It is his highest-grossing album to date, having earned him around $1.0 million. Even more amazing is that J. Cole released the album without putting out even one single. That’s an incredible feat considering the constant demand placed on artists for more and more music to satisfy the never-ending nature of the Internet.
Time to Boss Up
With the success Cole was enjoying as a solo act, he was ready to take the next step. And for Cole, that meant running his own label. Dreamville became the moniker and the official title of Cole’s new label, and he needed to find a home for his new project.
Cole found that home through a partnership with Interscope, the label that houses artists such as Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar. In describing the relationship between Dreamville and Interscope, Cole said, “We provide the artist, the direction, the guidance, the music, the new ideas, and they provide muscle and years of experience of really giving artists the proper push.”
Let’s Get to the Money
On the road is where most musicians today make their dollars, and Cole is no exception. From June 2014 to June 2015, Cole played 65 shows that helped him earn an estimated $11.0 million before taxes. That’s four million more than he earned the previous year, partly spurred by the success of his platinum Forest Hills Drive album.
Breakdown of J. Cole’s Earnings
|Endorsements and Sponsorships||$209,150|
Cole stepped off stage to earn a few dollars, as well. His endorsement deal with Bally sees the rapper promote boots and bags specifically. When asked about his partnership with the prestigious brand, and targeting boots and backpacks primarily, Cole said,
“I’m learning more about what my true style actually is. Becoming more confident in what I like. And I love simplicity and comfort. Comfort is king. I feel at home in a pair of comfortable boots, and I always have a backpack with me. I keep my life in my backpack. Current books I’m reading, my notebook with all my rhymes written inside and my laptop that holds all the music I’m working on. [sic]”
It’s hard to doubt Cole: His success in music has been undeniable. And as he enters into the next phase of his career as an executive cultivating other artists, we’ll see how he goes about cementing his own legacy.