It's been a year and a half since J. Cole dropped his Forest Hills Drive album on the rap world's heads, and today his manager, Ib, posted on Instagram that FHD had surpassed 2 million copies sold, officially putting Cole on that double-platinum pedestal:
It's an impressive feat in an age where albums rarely go platinum, let alone double, although the RIAA's new rules, which count song streams towards album sales, will certainly mean we'll be seeing more platinum plaques handed out than in previous years. (By contrast, Kendrick's To Pimp a Butterfly went platinum earlier this year, while Drake's Views went platinum its first week and is a lock to do double platinum by the end of 2016.)
The real lesson here is not that Cole is now a commercially elite rapper, although that's true, or that he did it with no features, which is also true. For me the takeaway is that after years of bending his sound towards radio and trying to please Jay and Roc Nation, he finally found his true breakthrough success when he made a project that ignored external pressure and held the closest to his own vision.
They'll be popping bottles in Dreamville tonight, and they deserve it, but this is the music industry, and the music industry never stops. So now there's only one question left - where's the new album at?