I was never a particularly deep J. Cole fan, I think primarily just because I was already just too old to truly relate to him in the same way some of my younger writers did.
At the same time, Cole was Warming Up I was already waiting for my first daughter to be born. But Forest Hills Drive was a real turning point, an album where I finally felt connected on a deeper level to Cole's music, and watching these Road to Homecoming videos has deepened my appreciation even more.
Every episode of Cole's documentary has included at least a few gems—Did you catch the last episode when he really broke down how hard Jay Z pressed him for a radio hit?—and the latest episode, "Buses, Vans, and Trains," is no different. Honestly, it makes me realize that while we spend all this time talking about how an artist makes their music, we spend very little time thinking about the process of putting together a live show. And that's strange considering how absolutely crucial a great live show is to an artist's career, especially in 2016.
Watching Cole meticulously pour over his lighting cues, seeing how instrumental even the stage hands are in pulling off a great show, is eye-opening.
The documentary series is leading up to the premiere of his Homecoming Concert Film on HBO, which will air later this week, January 9.