Hip hop can be crude, but North Carolina’s Jermaine Cole is a charmer who raps less about guns and hoes, more about his crooked teeth and his mum. With two Number One albums (including the critically acclaimed ‘Born Sinner’, released earlier this year), and a friendship circle that includes Jay Z and Kanye, it must be hard to stay grounded. We find out how he’s doing ahead of his run of three nights at Hammersmith Apollo.
Do you still shop on the high street?
‘The places I went before I had some money? No I don’t, I can’t lie. I feel like I’m a sell out!’
Don’t be glum, let’s talk ‘X Factor’ – who are the judges?
‘What’s “X Factor”? Is that the one where they turn around in their seats?’
No, that’s ‘The Voice’.
‘I don’t get much chance to watch TV, but when I do, I like “Family Guy” or “The Simpsons” and ESPN.’
Forget staying in, then. Imagine you’re out and you lose your money and phone – how do you get home?
‘I would use somebody else’s phone that I see in the street, then I would call somebody I know with Uber. Y’all got Uber over there yet?’
I don’t think so…
‘It’s an app that allows you to call a car anywhere to pick you up. Nice cars too, like an SUV. So I would call somebody and tell them to Uber a car to my direct location and I’d be good.’
Who’s the most famous contact in your phone?
‘Jay Z. Who’s more famous than Jay Z? Rihanna maybe? Kanye? Although I don’t have his phone number, I only have his email.’
I bet you blow loads on jewellery like Jay ’n’ Ye.
‘Oh man, too much. Thousands!’
Whoa, you’ve got it all. But what six things couldn’t you live without?
‘My laptop definitely, my keyboard for making music, a pad and pen to write ideas down and… friends and family.’
This rapper is flapping dangerously near to the stratosphere.
Thousand Island is a new self-contained music venue and late, late night club, in what used to be Upstairs at The Garage on Highbury Corner. Following a recent refurb, The Garage – a live music venue that’s been hosting major gigs since 1993 – is now hosting up-and-coming artists, as well as club nights in its intimate, upstairs space (with added mirrorballs on the ceiling). And it's within easy reach of Highbury & Islington station for when you need to stagger home on the night tube.