Time markers sneak up on you. We live and breathe technology; more than ever, days and dates lose meaning. Weeks wither from their identity and, if not careful, years begin to slip away like grains of sand swept out by the sea. While Jun. 15, yesterday’s date, signified Father’s Day, it also brought upon us the five-year anniversary of one artist’s first true step into the entertainment industry.
New school rap heavyweight J. Cole began rhyming before 2009, but the release of his The Warm Up project that very year would churn his fate in a better direction. A high quality mixtape in a period where such things were just beginning to become the new norm, The Warm Up was an impressive musical stake in the shifting grounds of the culture’s future. One of its tracks in particular, the pensive and poetic “Lights Please”, won the heart of Jay Z—and Cole a deal with Roc Nation.
To celebrate the somewhat stunning longevity of Warm Up‘s legacy (I personally can’t believe a half-decade has passed since first listening to that project) and all that it did for Cole’s career, the increasingly established emcee gifted his longtime supporters something special: the official, albeit old, video for the very track that made Cole the star he is today.
Watch the “Lights Please” music video premiere, which follows a brief discussion between J. Cole and Sway, below.
The man born Jermaine additionally penned a touching letter to his fans, honoring a true milestone—something worth being proud of.