J. Cole performing during 2022 Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois

What comes first, the signature moniker or the hit song? Musicians should always be judged on their music first and foremost, but a good name undeniably plays a role in marketing a person’s art and convincing people to listen to it. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find the right persona. J. Cole planned on pursuing a rap career from an early age, but his first stage name was a little more theatrical than what he goes by now. 

A friend told J. Cole to go by the name Therapist

J. Cole performing during 2022 Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois
J. Cole performing during 2022 Lollapalooza | Josh Brasted/FilmMagic via Getty Images

J. Cole talked to MTV back when the channel still pretended to care about music for a short-lived show called When I Was 17 in 2011 to discuss his life before the fame. 

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