Cole was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and then shortly after moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he was raised by his mother. He is of mixed-race, being born to a Black father and a White mother. Cole attended Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, and graduated in 2003. He decided that he had a better chance of getting signed in New York City, so he used college as a way to get there. He attended St. John's University on an academic scholarship where he majored in communication and minored in business, graduating magna cum laude. Read more about j.cole on Last.fm.