J Cole
US hip hop star J Cole finished the European leg of his 2014 Forest Hills Drive tour at London's O2 ArenaRobin Marchant/Getty Images for ESPN

As the man himself said, artists never perform their entire albums on stage because the records are either terrible or the mere idea terrifies them, but not J Cole.

The US rapper performed his critically-acclaimed 2014 Forest Hills Drive album in its entirety at London's O2 arena on 18 May and it was certainly a worthwhile experience.

Support act and r'n'b songstress Jhene Aiko left the audience in a trance but that was abruptly interrupted when J Cole stormed the stage and opened with fan-favourite album track Wet Dreamz.

Jay Z's Roc Nation protégé was clearly on a high and who could blame him as firstly, he was performing a sold-out show at one of the biggest arenas in the world and secondly, the album which he performed in its entirety had been named top rap album at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards the night before.

Rightfully so too as the 30-year-old, real name Jermaine Cole, has the impeccable knack of storytelling childhood memories with added humour.

Album cuts like G.O.M.D. and the equally ferocious Fire Squad turned the prestigious arena into one huge nightclub while the mutual feeling of energy and excitement between audience members somehow made it feel like an intimate affair.

Of course, the In The Morning hitmaker was effortless in connecting with his large crowd, which included sharing hilarious anecdotes of his night with a woman who had butt implants and warm memories of growing up on the street that inspired the album's title.

Any J Cole fan worth their salt will know that there are no airs and graces with the Grammy-nominee. Throughout the show, the message that he has no desire to start hanging out in "weird" Hollywood could not have been clearer.

His down-to-earth nature was also evident in his outfit – only J Cole could perform at the O2 Arena in a casual plain black T-shirt and jogging bottoms rolled up to his calves.

This is even more humbling considering the hip hop icon has achieved the success he has in just six years. Platinum-selling albums, number one records, multiple awards and a headline world tour are just some of the reasons he has to celebrate.

J Cole is living the American Dream. Or is he? Judging by his rant during the show, the rapper would say no. Certainly, the hitmaker has come a long way from North Carolina and has earned all the accolades and money he once salivated over.

Jhene Aiko
R'n'b singer Jhene Aiko supported J Cole on the UK tour and performed before he graced the stage in LondonBryan Bedder/Getty Images for Samsung

However, the rapper admits that having all of that would be nothing if he did not stay true to who he is.

Which is why fans were delighted when he gave his "day one supporters" a treat by reeling out all the mixtape hits that gave him the title "hip hop's saviour" back in 2009.

Tracks like In The Morning and Lights Please from the respective Friday Night Lights and The Warm-Up mixtapes were most welcome.

Even performing hits like Crooked Smile and Power Trip from his second album Born Sinner served as the cherry on top of a truly divine dessert.

The background behind 2014 Forest Hills Drive is poetically beautiful – the LP was named after the address of J Cole's childhood home – so it is understandable that the hip hop star put his heart and soul into the record.

He put the same energy and passion into his show at the O2 Arena as well and it was a performance that London will not forget in a hurry.

My new album. 2014 Forest Hills Drive. 12/9. http://smarturl.it/ForestHillsDrive

A photo posted by realcoleworld (@realcoleworld) on