Can I Last In This…

Dreamville Cole Letter

5 years ago, we started a journey together. On June 15th, 2009 I released The Warm Up to a few who were waiting patiently for it. Full of my dreams, fears and predictions, it resonated with you right away. Over the next year I watched it grow legs and spread at an unbelievable pace all because you felt it so much. Five years later, I couldn’t be more proud of it’s impact. Thank you.

The Warm Up is a declaration of dedication to Greatness. Told from the perspective of a kid who wants more than what his city has to offer him. The crime. The stagnation. He wants more from the girls he dates. He wants out of Muhammad’s house. He refuses to let anyone tell him he can’t dream. That he won’t make it. He believes in himself. He dedicates his life to his craft, because he’s finally realized that the work that you put in today has a direct and absolute impact on the life you live tomorrow.

You heard the passion, you heard the stories, and you believed in him too. You rooted for him. And your’e still rooting. My thoughts today come from my observations over the past 5 years. I understand now that you’re rooting for him, rooting for me, because you are also rooting for yourself. You realize that this society kills dreams and encourages you to conform. To settle for the block, to join the army, to become a lawyer when you really want to paint, to get comfortable in the projects, to slave away at a 9-5 you hate because it pays decent; to become complacent with safety. The Warm Up says, “Fuck that. I will be Greater. Watch me.”

I think about all the times over the past few years that one of you has said to me, “you’re the reason I went to college,” “yo, The Warm Up got me through some hard times,” “got me through law school,” “med school,” “high school,” “The Warm Up changed my life.”

I imagine that 5 years ago we all wanted more. The Warm Up was just something that put music and words to what we were feeling. As I write this I’m on a plane from Sydney, Australia back to New York City. Music has taken me around the world now, doing shows in places I never thought I would be. I’m grateful.

I’m wondering where you are today. 5 years later. The Warm Up dropped when some of you were upperclassmen in college. I’m hoping that you’ve found a career doing some shit you love, something that makes you happy. Maybe you needed more time to figure it out. Grad School? Or maybe you’re back in your parents crib trying to regroup. Everything will be OK. Don’t stop dreaming.

Some of ya’ll were still in high school. If you went on to college, enjoy it while you got it. If you went straight to the real world, I wish you the best. I hope you found a trade you love, or a job that allows you to support yourself. Happiness is all that matters. If you ain’t happy, adjust please.

Some of you were underclassmen in college, which means you probably just entered the workforce or you’re still trying to get that entry level position. These are the toughest times. You will struggle no doubt, but it will all work out in the end.

No matter where you were 5 years ago, I hope that today you are closer to your dreams. I know that everything hasn’t gone exactly the way you planned, it hasn’t for me either. But our job isn’t to plan. Our job includes 3 responsibilities. 1. To dream. 2. To believe that dream is attainable. And 3. To work hard everyday towards that dream. Let God handle the rest.

As you go throughout this week replaying this project that changed my life and lots of yours too, I want to leave you with this because I feel we all need it. Read this as if these words were yours, because they are.

In 5 years I have come so far. I am grateful to be here today, alive and full of potential. But I am not satisfied. I still want more. I still have dreams, even bigger now than before. I will not settle or conform. I rededicate myself to greatness. I give my time and my passion to my craft, because I realize that the work I put in today affects the life that I live tomorrow. I believe in myself. And to all those that doubt me I say, “Fuck that. I will be Greater. Watch me.”

- Cole

Posted in Cole World, The Warm Up
89 Comments » for Can I Last In This…
  1. Hadji says:

    This is beautiful. I was a freshman in high school when I discovered The Warm Up (2010) and I just finished my freshman year of college. Right now, I’m pursuing my dream of becoming a musician. Don’t worry, you’ll hear me soon. S/o Colefam.

    - Hadji

  2. Natalie says:

    Classic Cole! Appreciate it! Only up from here

  3. Taylor Cole says:

    Been about you then, still about you now ❤️❤️❤️

  4. cedric cutno says:

    J.Cole I envy you and you are my inspiration because of where you came from and where You are now and I live my life through a quote that you said and I will always remember and it keep me moving forward with my goals “weather a scholar or a fiend watch a pawn become a king”

  5. Shy says:

    That’s luv. Peace & blessings (

  6. Brian says:

    Great message bro.

  7. Mike says:

    Inspirational words from my idol. Thank you. God Bless.

  8. Matt Barrett says:

    Friday night lights got me through some very hard times thanks cole

  9. derivia says:

    I love you Cole. Five years ago, I was in highschool and now I’m in college

  10. derivia says:

    I love you Cole. Five years ago, I was in highschool and now I’m in college

  11. Keydra H. says:

    Thank you, for everything.

  12. Jaron Simmons says:

    Yo its sweat too good bruh you are the truth you are easily one of my top two fab rappers, second only to Jay-z, I’ve been following you music since 2010 and have been a fan ever since so much so I’ve been forever mad at myself for not knowing who you were sooner.gel I’ve even argued with my brother and my classmates from when I was in high school about how tough you are struggling to up your fans as if they were my own and to help niggas see that it’s a “coleworld no blanket”it’s been a pleasure to watch you from the sidelines and to support you when I can, like buying two copies of “coleworld: the sideline story” or attending your concert at my college seton hall university,I can’t wait to see you kill the game even furtherin the future and to never stop until everybody knows who you are.Give Kay my best bruh Cole world!!!!

  13. kiara says:

    I just want to say thank you. Not only for the music. But for your words of encouragement. I was forced to leave my house due to family issues. Which led me to be homeless.And 5 years later i have my own apartment which is a big deal to me. You have encoraged me for the last 3 years. I just need to work on a career i love. Thank you so much.
    &P.s. sorry if im annoying on social

  14. Drew says:

    This nigga..

  15. maryam says:

    You are all my fucking inspiration I have nothing else. You inspire me to live everyday despite the shit I’m putting up with, thank you so much.

  16. Leo says:

    Thank You! Cole World

  17. Mai Nguyen says:

    Woohoo go j.cole!!!! <3 :)

    Someday I'll get to go to your concerts whenever you come back to Cali to visit us!!!

    Mai Nguyen

  18. Jaaaamira says:

    I’m so proud of jermaine in so many ways like how he put his team on FORREAL and how he keep colefam crashing sites… Very inspirational and influential person!! Continue to make us proud cole ❤️ You

  19. Adam says:

    Love you Cole!! You’re the man. Will be rooting for you forever my niggga.

  20. OMSN says:

    Some Day I’m gonna Look Back At this Comment & Say “Nigga We Made It”

  21. Debziney says:

    Thank you so much for this. I think your talent is so underrated. I wish you all the best.

  22. Soner says:

    The Warm Up helped me go through a lot during my exam year. I’m here to say sincerely thank you j cole for doing what you doing. Couldn’t imagine a life without you & your music

  23. Caesar Sabuda says:

    You have inspired me on so many different levels that I have no choice but to love you and hate you. My father always taught me to never let another man control your emotions or influence the things that you do. Unfortunately he is no longer here and if he was, he’d probably gimme one helluva ass whoopin for this next statement. Jermaine, you are the reason I’m attending college and you are what gets me through the rough times in life. We all look for that little dose of motivation when we don’t have it. For me, you are that dose. Thank you, sir.

  24. J.Cole is one of the most influential artist in my life. Your lyrics are real and heart felt. I pray you continue to inspire young artist like me all over the globe for a long time. Continue to be legendary and don’t conform to the rest of the game. Stay true like you have been throughout your career. God Bless you Jermaine.

  25. MB says:

    Just…Speechless. ♡
    Thank You Cole, you spoke to me through this mixtape.

  26. olakunle says:

    Nice one man. Can’t wait to meet you in person. You the realest nigga I know

  27. Na'Kole Range says:

    Cole I just want you to know that you are MY HERO! Because you didn’t give up when Jay turned you down, your drive and motivation has inspired and encouraged me to push and get make my dreams into reality. Much love, blessings and respect.

  28. Dante says:

    One word. Love.

  29. Mimi says:

    You were with me in every difficult journey in my life. You’ve helped me through so many problems, inspired me and motivated me. You’ve taught me to hold my head up high and go after what I want. You taught me to respect myself. And you didn’t even know it. Your songs never fail to amaze me. The Warm Up brought me to tears and opened up my eyes. I wish to meet you someday to just say Thank You. For your hard work, you’ve inspired many..

  30. marc says:

    Man Cole is too real this right here touched my heart. 5 years ago I was a senior finishing up college whn I first heard Cole and started to put my friends on to his incredible music. Now I been working 3 years just got promoted still putting my friends on and using it as my motivation keep doing wat u do fam love and respect straight from Jamaica .

  31. Kristina says:

    Been following you since I was in the 9th grade, now I’m a college sophomore… Seeing you perform last night for the first time ever was surreal. COLE IS THE TRUTH.

  32. Maiyo Shahrawan says:

    “It’s human nature I suppose.. to second guess yourself, and life seems to take you through more downs than ups; seems like it gives you more losses than wins… But do you stand tall and be bold?…or do you fold?” I’ve remembered that exact quote for 5 years from the Warm Up intro, and y’know at first I didn’t think much of it, until I realized the significance of the people he touches with his words. A select group of people… A Cole World Family..that stuck with this dude from the start and just enjoyed great music… Different races, different cultures, different beliefs.. all as one… Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, etc, ALL…as one. As a Family… #ColeWorld


    A Fellow Dreamvillian

  33. carlosss says:

    This was amazeing , it was pure from the heart . Most times artis dont get take the time to thank the fans . Warm up was part of the motivatin for me going back to college after fucking up my first year . Now Im at a 3.7 with to more quarters to go .Cole world here I come!


    You need to relase fridaynight lights in hard copy

  34. Quadir says:

    shit, classic ………..

  35. James Kamwela says:

    You inspire me,you are great

  36. Te' says:

    Wow, I Was A Late Blooming Fan So I Didn’t Feel The Initial Impact Of “The Warm Up”, Because I Heard It About A Year Later. Even Though It Was Late My Reaction When Hearing It Was Instantaneous Love! I Remember Saying “Yes! I Love That He Goes Against The Grain. He’s Gonna Be One Of The Greats!” I Feel Like I’m Sitting Back Watching My Big Brother Succeed, And I’m Proud. I Can’t Wait For Your New Material To Drop So I Can Add It To The Soundtrack Of My Life Lol. I Won’t Be Able To See Your Interview With Sway Today Because DirecTV Doesn’t Have An MTVJams Channel. Hopefully It’ll Be Online Sometime Soon. Until Then I’ll Just Keep Listening To Your Music All Day. Best Of Luck To You In All Your Future Endeavors. I’ll Always Be Rooting For You!

    - Te’

  37. Ivette Niles says:

    Only The Best From The Best!!!! J. Cole..A Beast in His Own Right…Sooooo Proud!! Fan For Life…Let’s Get It!!

  38. Mr. FlipStar says:

    Cole … I caught onto TheWarmUp in 2011… And never looked back. I’ve been writing rhymes for 10+ years but your mixtape a brought me over the hump … And I now find myself in the midst of finishing my first ever mixtape … Thank you for being you, and helping me gain that confidence …

  39. Qiana says:

    Fuck that I will be great !!!!!!

  40. KianaFitz says:

    A month after this dropped, my mom passed away. I had just come home from summer school a couple weeks earlier, The Warm Up constantly blasting on my lil MP3 player religiously. Out of nowhere, she was gone. This tape was one of the few things I remember having before she died, and holding close afterwards.

    Last fall, I dropped everything to move to D.C. to intern with NPR Music. Fast-forward 10 months, and I’m premiering albums, producing my first Tiny Desk Concert tomorrow, and prepping for more sessions and opportunities to come.

    without my mama’s love and dedication, and the music that has gotten me through the past half decade — including this tape — I would be nowhere. Thank you, Mama. Thank you, J. Cole. Thank You, God. Let’s keep it pushing.

    P.S. I think I went to your very first show in Texas (San Antonio, Jan. 2010?). I was one of a handful of girls that knew all your lyrics. Still one of the best concerts of my life.

  41. Tara says:

    I think it’s strange how billions of people exist but I choose to listen to your voice over and over, every single day. I think it’s strange how your thoughts mean so much more to me than so many others’ & how I value your opinion so highly. But I don’t question it because I love it so much and now I don’t think I could live without it. You speak to me in so many ways and you don’t even know it. I wake up to your voice in the morning and I go to sleep to it. You’ve held my hand through so many struggles and made me a better person and above all, you helped me find my dreams. You are strength for me and you are hope. I’ve been dreaming bout millions since I was five or six too and when I get there I’ll thank you again for guiding my mind. Thank you Cole for everything since DAY 1. So much respect.

  42. I randomly found myself listening to The Warm Up today on the 15th today for NO REASON. I had no idea that it was the five year anniversary and I haven’t listened to it in a very long time. This is amazing. J Cole inspired me to move to London, UK (My own NYC). Came here to do the exact same thing, use University in order to pursue my music career. After the loss of my parent, i was moved by the phrase I was told by them. “WHAT IF. Thank you, I’m not there yet BUT i will be.

    Miller Clarke

  43. AnthonyL says:

    I began listening to your music after my dad passed away in 2010, I was 19 years old and I was left with the rent and all of the bills to pay. I had to grow up really quick and your music helped me get through the toughest time in my life. I have become a huge fan of your music and what u teach. I found a job a like and I’m still going to college. And trust me man like Pete Carroll “I will leave college and Fu.k the pros up” I appreciate everything you’ve done and I wish you even more success.
    PS. I saw you for the first time on the Last Winter tour in LA, and I hope to see you again at the D&D tour.
    Thanks for everything! Hope you read this.

  44. Mica says:

    You are such a true inspiration to many. A unique soul. Thank you for using your platform to inspire others and to uplift our community and the world. I really needed to read this and your words are always a comfort to me. You taught me that it’s okay to be a big dreamer. Heck, being a big dreamer is the only way to live life. Hope to meet you in person soon and have a real conversation. Thank you J. Cole.


  45. Ashley says:

    I was a freshman in high school when The Warm Up dropped, and for a year this was the only thing that played on my iPod, wherever I went my iPod went with me and this was on loop the whole time. I’m now in College and I’m changing my major and schools to follow my dreams. It’s such a stressful time and hard work to go through this change and I turn to Cole’s music for support and inspiration. This tape never fails to give me encouragement. I’m so proud of Cole and I’m so glad I stumbled across him 5 years ago. I hope one day I can sit down and converse with this man and I’m hella excited for his future projects.
    - Ash

  46. JaQuan says:

    When I first listened to The Warm Up, I was amazed at how fluid J.Cole was even though I was only in 8th grade at the time. From the point on, whenever I heard a J.Cole track or him featuring on a track I stopped to actually take in his words because he was spitting true life situations. He was one of my great influences to be a artist. Happy 5 year anniversary, Hope I make it to Dreamville some day.

  47. Jenom says:

    Cole you’ve always inspired me,all I ever want to do is to meet you in public,shake your hand and tell you that you the man my nigga,listening to your music helped me through rough times and I’m still living..I hope I finish college and be a realist just as you do..Hope to see you tour someday in nigeria..#Cole World much love nigga

  48. Brandon Chizer says:

    Thank you for refusing to succumb to the industry BS. I was finishing up college when you dropped this and was a bit jaded with life and hip-hop at the time. All of the shit that was coming out at the time felt so calculated and inauthentic that I literally gave up on the culture. When I heard that Jay Z signed the first artist to rocnation I had to check it out. When I heard that piano play on the intro I was intrigued and your words instantly struck a chord with my situation and I was hooked frome there. The hit me because it was like something that I never heard before but something so familiar at the same time. I started to put my friends on to the music and the way I described it was that this is the shit that made us fall in love with hip hop when we were 11 and 12 years old. Not catchy, just real. We appreciate the real. Keep it coming.

  49. Rodrigo Ortega says:

    wondering what to say to this . but thank you , a solid thank you because of all the hard times that this man got me through. Never Stop Dreaming.

  50. Darcy says:

    Super Inspiring!

  51. Emmie says:

    You truly inspire me to grow up and do greater things in life, and not to care what other people think or believe I cant do because in my heart I know I can become something great if I just believe and dream. I love you Jcole.

  52. JC says:

    This immensely long list of people who took the time to comment and share their thoughts is a testament to what you do. So many in the game say “fuck it” to spreading a message or fighting for a cause or giving people a voice. It’s easy to push out club tracks and banger shit that people want to turn up to. It’s easy to be ignorant. But it’s awfully hard to tell the truth. To be honest. It’s hard struggling to find the words to remember and represent the people and the places you came from. It’s hard to be honest about who you are as an artist today – about your struggles today. It takes a lot of courage and humility. But you keep on, and it’s why you have our utmost respect. You never neglect the real power of music. Or forget that people are thirsty for something real.

    That being said, I hope you grow and succeed over and over again. I hope you never forget your hunger and your humility – your power. I hope you know we are here, in our 9-5′s, sitting in class, hustlin, and working graveyard shifts, all while being inspired and motivated through your music. Music is such an incredibly powerful thing, and I think you understand that. I think you understand what you can do for people.

    I hope you always struggle to remember and represent what you want to stand for. No words can describe how much I appreciate you.

    You WILL last.

  53. Yasssssssssss lol I was a freshman in High School as well. I’l never forget the day me and my best friend heard this lol we went on YouTube searching for EVERY Cole song lmao I love Cole he’s inspired me in sooo many ways i swear on everything! I love Dreamville!!!! #ColeWorld

  54. Ant West says:

    I just want to say, if you ever have the chance to read this.. Ever since 2011, I’ve been listening to you. Before I was ignorant enough to say no one will ever top the legends or 2pac. But as I grow older and begin my move towards my dream.. You helped me realize that people are powerful, that we can control whatever we put our minds to and work hard at. I started off listening to the “Cole World: Sideline Story” and got curious. Usually I skip songs and just see if there is something that appeals to me on the album, but for once, I just wanted to listen to the WHOLE thing. Listened to “Dollar and a Dream 3″ once, and instantly got hooked!! Ever since I went back in time and to see what else you made. And the Warm Up had a few of my favorite songs on it. Like “Dreams”, “Dollar and a Dream 2″, “Can I Live”, “Losin My Balance” and more! You were the first out of 5 people who inspired me to move forward… And I won’t stop until I’m up there with you and you sign me to your label! I will be what I want to be, I will make it to New York City, I will be an artist, poet, rapper and writer! I will make my dreams a reality, I will have a brighter future for my children, I will provide for my entire family, I will succeed! I thought I could try and make it by 25 or 24 but I realize that we have to be patient! I will meet you there, prepare to see me soon!- TheAntWest

  55. Raelle says:

    Perfect… Thank you. Real tears.

  56. Joe Onam says:

    J. Cole,

    Vancouver, Canada 2011, that was the summer you kicked off your World Tour. It was my first concert, I was a second year college/university kid from the University of British Columbia.

    St Johns/UBC College/University, similar thing.

    Mate I still remember, you had a red jacket on and a black snapback and your stage presence was amazing. The concert was at The Orpheum Theater in Vancouver.

    (Glad you got that blackberry back or that Born Sinner would never have dropped!).

    Vancouverites can get a little crazy, The Boston Bruins – Vancouver Canucks game of 2011.

    Looking forward to the next album.


    Joe Onam.

  57. Quincy G says:

    I found J. Cole my freshman year of college in a dorm room in Jackson, MS. “The Warm Up” changed my life. I went through ups and downs, with friends that are now enemies, women that are now forgotten, and no idea what I wanted when I graduated….

    I have since graduated, and when I listen to this tape its definitely nostalgic. It keeps me going. Realizing how far I have come and what all I’ve been through…all while listening to this tape and each project after.

    Thank you for this letter Cole.
    Thank you for your music Cole.
    Thank you. #Blessings

  58. We were searching for solving climate change and came across your Can I Last In This… – Dreamvillain page. My greatest worry is clean energy, unless we stop using coal the world is going to be in real trouble.
    We are surprised scientists are not looking at using more renewables like Ocean Currents sort of like Florida based Crowd Energy. If we dont fix this problem now its going to get bad.
    Cheers, Leck

  59. MG says:

    I’ll never forget the day my cousin sat me in his car and made me listen to the first few songs on The Warm Up back in early 2010. Something just clicked with me the minute I heard it. I was failing out of college and that album turned my whole entire life around for the better. I never in a million years thought I would be able to get past some specific worst times in my life but J. Cole did it. I don’t know what to say really but thank you for making me the person I am today and never giving up on the things I truly believe in. You are my hero and never stop inspiring people to be real.

  60. J says:

    In the last five years I graduated college. I’m still doing the same thing though in the same place…everyday is the same. I don’t even let myself dream much and the more time that passes the less I do. Feel like I’ve given into obligations and fear my whole life. That I can’t catch sight of my purpose. You’re doing what you love…and making a difference while doing so. The material success is great for you, but I know that’s not what you nor anyone should value….true success is in the happiness that comes from purely doing what you love and knowing it impacts people in a positive way. Your words are sincere and that’s why I have so much respect and love for your music…your character comes through and thank you because I need to adjust…if I can’t hear from anyone else that things will be ok…I read it here and know that things got more than ok for you, and they can for us too. THANK YOU.

  61. Toronto Cole fam says:

    Cole is such an inspiring dude. We met at your latest show in Toronto, and you were so down to earth. You put your work in, and I respect all that you’ve done to get to where you are today. Congrats on the 5 year anniversary! You should be so proud of yourself for making it this far and still being humble about it.

    Your music is so relatable for anyone with a dream, and I think that’s all of us. Some of us might deny it, but we all have big dreams…and your music lets us know that it’s OK to have dreams and to chase them. When you’re living out your dreams, you’re giving us the encouragement we need to do the same, and we thank you for that. 1 love.

  62. shasala says:

    Beautiful words <3

  63. Classic Cole. says:

    Cole your an inspiration. You lift my spirits up. Your music educates me it makes me think. the emotion you put into your music is so full of passion and eagerness. your music is only music that has me listening to every word of every song. it KILLS me that i live so far away from where you always preform. please come to Sydney, Australia again but ALONE this time, where its only your music for 3 hours. PLEASE. Thank you for never giving up and pushing through to becoming a great classic artist because then i would never have heard your music. thank you for inspiring me to never give up. thank you for making me feel and thank you for educating me through your music. thank you. thank YOU. THANK YOU.

    I love you cole <3

    Heba x

  64. Ojibe says:

    God Bless you J.Cole.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement and reassuring me that I am not alone.

    God Bless you

  65. Tori says:

    Thank you Jermaine. Thank you for taking time out to appreciate the fans. I love you and your music. You one of the realest out. Keep keeping it real! #ColeWorld

  66. Jerry says:

    Not Just only the warm up. A lot of your songs get me through difficult times. Something like my Agony music. You are music can be related to more than any artist. Keep giving us that good shit.

  67. Dale Splatt says:

    Dear Jermaine,

    5 year’s ago a mixtape changed my life. Jermaine Lamarr Cole dropped “The Warm Up” In 2009 I was 15 year’s old living in Melbourne Australia. Being young, dumb, getting in trouble and just not not giving a fuck and being a rap/hip-hop enthusiast. Funny enough 2 year’s earlier back in 07′ I hadn’t really been in to any of the rappers that were emerging at the time and some how came across Jermaine on youtube and clicked on a song “Simba”. I listened to it and I instantly came a fan. I could not believe how hungry and just this look of passion, and desire this man had to follow his dream. He wasn’t wearing no flashy designer clothes just a plain white tee and jeans, straight from the streets, spitting lyrics like fire. I instantly downloaded his debut mixtape “The Come Up” and though I enjoyed it, it just didn’t meet the expectations I set but I still kept an eye out on rap forums and shit to keep up to date. 2 year’s go by its 09′ and i hear Jay-Z has made J. Cole his first artist on Roc Nation, i was fucking losing my shit thinking this man must have a gift if Jay has signed him! Before you know it you’re hearing Jermaine on features such as Wale’s debut album on “Beautiful Bliss” which is hands down one of the best guest verses I’ve ever heard from anyone, cole straight murdered that track! Then few months later a fucking mixtape changed my life as a teenage boy. Cole dropped “The Warm Up”. After repetitively bumping this album through my headphones at school and home, Jermaine instantly became my favourite rapper. From start to finish, i fell in love with every single song on that fucking mixtape. I learnt the lyrics to every single song, and till this day I can still spit every lyric off each track. Month’s go by, I’m still bumping the mixtape and ill be at school telling all my boys, “man you gotta listen to J. Cole, his fucking amazing!” Not one of them gave the man a chance simply cos he has not hit the mainstream yet and isn’t on the radio. Sadly, till this day that’s just how our generation see’s music. No love for the underground. 5 year’s later apparently every cunt and bitch is J. Cole’s biggest fan. What, cos you love his single “Work Out”? Pure joke. Makes me angry and my balls itch just thinking about it still in 2014 lol but fuck it. But what i took from the album is exactly what Cole cover’s in his letter. “The Warm Up” is a declaration of dedication to greatness. Told from the perspective of a kid who wants more than what his city has to offer him. The crime. The stagnation. He wants more from the girls he dates. He wants out of Muhammad’s house. He refuses to let anyone tell him he can’t chase his dreams. That he won’t make it as a rapper. He believe’s in himself. He dedicates his life to his craft, because he’s finally realised that the work that you put in today has a direct and absolute impact on the life you live tomorrow. Listening to “The Warm Up” I heard the passion, I heard the stories, and I believed in him too. I rooted for him, and till this day I am still rooting for him. My thoughts today come from observation’s of just being a fan over the past 5 years. I understand why I’m rooting for him, because I am also rooting for myself. I realise that this society kills dreams and encourages you to conform. To settle for the block, to join the army, to become a lawyer when you really want to paint, to get comfortable in the projects, to slave away at a 9-5 you hate because it pays decent; to become complacent with safety. “The Warm Up” told and taught me: “Fuck that. I will be greater. Watch me”

  68. Dextor says:

    Aye! Its amazing how you can reach so far bruh. I thank you. Because of you I’ve learned to take the good with the bad and still thrive through all the shit that life throws at me. “To each his own”. That’s a line that pushes me.
    All the way out in Southern Africa, Botswana, and I feel the whole world is at ma door step. You are one of ma role models man. Can’t wait to get ma Marketing degree and go deeper in this media industry. I salute you bro!
    P.S ma sista loves the ish outta you :p

  69. EhCee says:

    When I stumbled upon TWU 5 years ago I was a grade 9 coming into high school, didn’t know what was gonna happen… This mix tape was probably the single biggest thing that inspired me and motivated me to be better, especially at basketball.

    I started out as an average player in grade 10 but kept shooting, kept playing and was in the gym constantly with nothing but Cole blasting in my ears. Grade 12 came and I was ready. Let my team to a great season, averaged 28 a game, and won league MVP…

    Thank you for everything Cole, I hope to see you in concert again soon. You’re a huge influence in my life among many others. Keep writing, keep producing and keep getting better and your name will be written in history as one of the greats. Much love.

    “If they don’t know your dreams, they can’t shoot them down”

  70. Serena Serene Mmifinyana says:

    Were it not for my big brother, I wouldn’t have taken the time and effort to listen to your mixtapes. I now understand why he was always making so much noise about this underground rapper called J.Cole. Its like I can say I personally know you better than those who only heard your album debut and the only just started falling for you. Your lyrics are always so real and I feel like you’re an older brother warning his sister about the real world; the struggles, the heart-aches, the fun and the successes. At eighteen, I can say you helped raise me, opened my eyes and gave me a front-row seat for the stuff that happens in my surroundings, how to handle myself and others, how reach for the stars. Yes, you help me reach for the stars, I never give up hope that regardless of all the negativity about my future career, I’ma make it anyway – my haters got me feeling like the greatest!!! I can say I’m in the middle of ‘the come up’, that ‘I get up’ every morning with a mission to success, I ‘cheer up’ when I see myself feeling low, cause I know that I’m getting there – yes, ‘I’m about to blow up!’

  71. Jose G-Dub says:

    I’ve never been one to have a “favorite rapper” I support all music, but yours hits home I can relate to every word, every song comes from the heart I remember how I felt in that exact situation, it’s me rapping your emotions come right thru like your conversing with me, stay true to you brother!

  72. cc says:

    simply: thank you, cole. x

  73. I need to print this out and get it framed, haha. Who else knows of any one else that has this type of connection with their fans?

  74. Fitim Ahmeti says:

    Fucking amazing. What an inspiration.

  75. Mina says:

    This is why I love your work. Thank you for the music…the inspiration God bless

  76. The warm up inspired me to create this film, this song off the album has been a huge motivation for me through out college & has help push me to reach my goals & my dreams. My only wish is that it will one day reach the eyes of Cole. Thanks for the inspiration.

  77. Mai Nguyen says:

    Hi I know this is weird but I just woke up in the middle of the night and I was dreaming about you. I just had to get it off my chest.

    Will you have a tour in California Bay Area?

  78. Aurelia Lamas says:

    J.Cole I swear you make us fans know you on the most personable level. You are a true inspiration like no other. You got some crazy Dreamvillain fans, that is only because you give us what no other artist has. Your passion, your stories, and the way you believe in the dream is the same way we are believing in ours. We love you! Dreamvillain forever !

  79. Ty says:

    I’ve read this letter countless times, and I take a new thing from it each time I read it. This past year I have struggled a lot. It was my first year at University, and it was NOT what I had expected. I had expected to coast by with minimal effort, and pass with a 1st class 1st year. That was not the case. I’m studying Biomedical sciences at a university that I THOUGHT I was way too good for, after landing there due to unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. What I ended up learning this year, is that there are SOO many routes to get to your dream, and none of them are easier than the next. God will place you on different paths, and its up to you to make the most of that path. Where I had expected an easy ride this year… that is NOT what I received. I had to work hard, and respect the situation that i had landed in. I am now more grateful for the experience and have a way better perspective on life… which is DONT be a snob, take what you’re given… and RUN with it.

    If anyone read that, I hope its helped you in some kind of way… and SEE YOU AT THE CONCERT

  80. Deandre says:

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  81. Agbesi says:

    You’re amazing Cole.I’ll never forget how much you’ve inspired me.God bless you!

  82. Duma says:

    “The only thing worse than death is a coffin filled with regrets” Cole. Your hustle inspires me! You touch souls all the way to ‘South Africa’…

  83. Tiffany says:

    I needed these words….thanks for encouragin’ your day 1′s to continue to strive and dream. Will def be at the Raleigh show Saturday….whereva its gonna be. Happy Birthday to your baby (The Warmup) and many congrats to u.

  84. Nuri S. says:

    I sat here reading this and couldn’t help but cry my soul out. Everything you said just really speaks to me. I work with 1st graders and I tell my students about your lyrics and I use certain quotes from your songs in my creative writing lesson plans. I look up to as a big brother Jermaine, before I didn’t care about getting good grades or being at the top of the class but knowing you graduated at the top of the class and how proud you are of yourself made me work hard as hell to pass all my classes with A’s and be on the Dean’s list. I don’t have anyone in my family that I can look up to since I’m the oldest but you give me hope and show me that no matter how much struggle I go through that greatness will arrive one day. In 2009 I was 19 years old, your music and all your advice from your music has made the 24 year old young lady I am today. Thank you for being a moral support system for the past 5 years and still years to come. Jermaine I love you like family so I hope you understand how much your words mean to me.
    - Nuri S.

  85. This paragraph gives clear idea for the new people of blogging, that truly
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  86. Sha'Mia says:

    Hello Jermaine,

    Your letter was a very inspiring and very heartfelt. You have always been very prophetic with your worlds. I do feel you are extremely blessed and gifted. Our young black men are struggling today. I figure Lynch is praise dancing in his grave. You and other artist have been able to maneuver through this system and somehow cultivate it to your own liking. For this I admire. I do plan to work with your organization one day contributing my tangibles, skill sets and intellect. Moreover, I know you are aiming for higher but please be aware of the wicked one. Ignore the sad and superficial ways of this world. Treat my fellow Queens like queens and we will continue to support and comfort our Kings Keep giving God all of your glory and I know you will prosper. Your story is like Job and your parables are reminiscent of Yaweh himself. Your spirit is pure,rare, and needed in this Hip-Hop Industry. And I thank the Lord you shared our(educational-financial struggle) story with the world.


    The Black Gifted One

    Peace, Love,& Blessings

25 Pings/Trackbacks for "Can I Last In This…"
  1. […] Nation MC also decided to look back on his breakthrough mixtape by writing an open letter on his Dreamvillain […]

  2. […] Cole keeps giving gifts. After writing a letter to his fans reflecting on the 5-year anniversary of The Warm Up, the North Carolina MC debuts for […]

  3. […] you will find an open letter J. Cole penned and published earlier on his DreamVillain site. We’ve included an excerpt of the letter, you can read the rest of it by following the […]

  4. […] Nation MC also decided to look back on his breakthrough mixtape by writing an open letter on his Dreamvillain […]

  5. […] marks the 5 year anniversary of J. Cole’s classic mixtape The Warm Up.  Jermaine took to his website and posted an open letter to his fans and reflects about the impact of the project 5 years later.  […]

  6. […] an open letter published on his Dreamvillain website, Cole reflected on the mixtape that changed his life and the lives of many of his fans. […]

  7. […] Nation MC also decided to look back on his breakthrough mixtape by writing an open letter on his Dreamvillain […]

  8. […] J. Cole recently sat down with Sway on MTV’s rap fix to shoot a 30-minute special dedicated to the five-year anniversary of stand out mixtape for Cole ‘The Warm Up,’ He debuted his never before seen video to th popular single lights please, “I haven’t even seen it“, says J. Cole of the video which a shot in 2008. The flagship Roc Nation artist also decided to look back on his breakthrough mixtape by writing an open letter on his Dreamvillain blog. […]

  9. […] five years and the impact of his music. In an open letter published on the label's DreamVillain website, Cole shared his personal insights concerning the tape's success and imprint to his many fans and […]

  10. […] an open letter published on his Dreamvillain website, Cole reflected on the mixtape that changed his life and the lives of many of his fans. […]

  11. […] shoot a 30-minute special of RapFix with Sway last weekend but also released an open letter on his Dreamvillain blog. The North Carolina native recalls releasing the project and also muses on the impact it had […]

  12. […] years and the impact of his music. In the open letter published on the label’s DreamVillain website, Cole shared his personal insights concerning the tape’s success and imprint to his many fans […]

  13. […] not done yet… J. Cole had so much to say about The Warm Up, that he wrote a letter on his website. Quoted in it’s entirety, […]

  14. […] The news comes on the fifth anniversary of the critically acclaimed mixtape ‘The Warm Up. J Cole took to Twitter to post an open letter to his fans – read the full thing here. […]

  15. […] J.Cole released a letter to his fans yesterday. Why you may ask? He released his project “The Warm Up” 5 years ago, on June 15, 2009 which means that yesterday was the 5 years anniversary of the project. With that being said, he wanted to thank his fans for supporting him and encouraging those that have graduated to continue to follow their dreams. If you want to read the entire letter, make sure you click here! […]

  16. […] rapper added some extra sugar on top. In addition to sharing some sentimental words with fans in an open later on the anniversary, he also announced his new Dollar A Dream tour dates, which will find him performing The Warm Up […]

  17. […] years and the impact of his music. In the open letter published on the label’s DreamVillain website, Cole shared his personal insights concerning the tape’s success and imprint to his many fans […]

  18. […] The video—like the song—is somewhat of a throwback. Directed by BBGUN, the visuals give the feeling that this was in fact filmed in 2009. Regardless whether it was or not, the video captures the song’s essence nicely, featuring Cole fittingly rapping both to a girl, and in front of a city skyline. In addition to the video, J. Cole posted a letter reflecting on his journey and as a message for his fans. It’s quite a moving piece of writing, and you can read the whole thing here. […]

  19. […] heartfelt, and inspirational letter about the tape and it’s significance which can be read here. He decided to bring back a mini version of the Dollar & A Dream Tour where he will be […]

  20. […] J.Cole (yea I listen to some of his songs) penned this inspiring letter a couple of days ago. Read it. I think it’ll resonate with […]

  21. […] read the full letter, click  here.  Check out the tour trailer below, and stay tuned for more J. Cole […]

  22. […] I read J.Cole’s letter for the fifth year anniversary of his mixtape, The Warm Up. His letter really resonated with me […]

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