Aaron Cole started rapping almost as early as he could speak. The son of an audio engineer, he made his first record, “Jesus is the Rock,” when he was four years old. A decade later, the 15-year old emcee is signed to Mixed Bag Entertainment. He says the whole process of joining the label has been a whirlwind, but Cole has already learned crucial life lessons from the experienced squad.
“I’ve learned that you could be the best you, but you can be the worst somebody else,” he said. “Always stay true to yourself. … That’s like the biggest thing that I’ve learned. And I’ve learned that more doesn’t always mean better. Sometimes, the less that you do, that might be for the better.”
His new boss is Da’ T.R.U.T.H. It is clear that Cole is excited to be working with the Christian hip-hop legend.
“I remember when I was like five or six like watching this dude on TBN, and it’s humbled me. It’s crazy,” he said. “The first show we ever did, he came off, he was like, ‘Phenomenal,’ and that’s just crazy for a legend like that to say that to you. Like, ‘I was just looking up to you.’ It’s crazy.”
The young emcee released the song “15 is the New 15” to celebrate his age and encourage others to do the same. A lot of people have been asking him what exactly he means by the song title and chorus, so Cole was excited to give an answer to the public.
“I see a lot of young people that try to be older than what they are and try to live an older life,” he said. “They try to be 30. They try to be 40 before their time actually comes, so me, I’m just being 15. I’m just living in my season, living what God has to come for me. So 15 now is like 35, but 15 is the new 15. So I’ll just be 15, and I’ll live my life that God has called for me.”
Cole makes a lot of references to popular culture in his rhymes. He writes all of his own lyrics. In “15 is the New 15,” he mentions a fellow rapper who also happens to have the last name of Cole. “J. Cole ain’t gonna like this / I’m a Born Sinner but homie I’m leaving righteous.” The Mixed Bag emcee says it’s not meant to be a dis, contrary to what the North Carolina rapper might presume when hearing his sophomore album title flipped on its head.
“I was going with like him thinking it’s a dis or something like that,” he said. “So I was like, ‘Uh-oh. J. Cole might not like this.’ That’s the whole thing with that. You might be a born sinner, but one day you’re really going to be righteous and you’re gonna be living in Heaven. It was like hope you don’t get mad at this line, but I’m about to kill what you’re going by with Born Sinner.”
This teenager doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet, but he is in the driver’s seat of his music career.