J. Cole wore a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey for his Billboard magazine cover shoot

A custom no. 15, nonetheless.

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About 11,000 Tampa fans saw J. Cole put on an enthralling, 24-song set at Amalie Arena this summer, but now millions more are going to see the North Carolina rapper repping the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Billboard's cover story is centered around the introspective, 33-year-old emcee, and the cover shoot — which happened less than a week after his August 11 show in Tampa — finds J. Cole sporting a custom, no. 15 Tampa Bay Lightning sweater. 

J. Cole and 11,000 Tampa fans put the G.O.A.T. conversation to rest at Amalie Arena

Seeing an artist in a Lightning hockey sweater isn't uncommon when they're playing Amalie (Drake did it in 2016, and so did Ed Sheeran when he played last year), but seeing one sport the gear for an international photo shoot is.

"J. Cole’s jersey with 15 on the back was gifted to him the night of his Tampa show on August 11. The number was requested by him/his team and we created it in house for him to have. So glad to see him in it," Angela Lanza, senior manager of event marketing at Amalie Arena, told CL.

"We love providing Tampa Bay Lightning customized jersey to artists when we can so that it ties all of our brands together – the hockey and the entertainment side as one."

Have a look at the video above. Read the story via billboard.com.

UPDATE: As readers have pointed out, Bad Boy rapper Craig Mack (who died in March) donned an old-school Tampa Bay Lightning jersey in a music video 24 years ago.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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