Rapper J Cole's insane prison-themed show seemed like a great idea at first, but it soon saw the crowd riled up and screaming anti-police chants.

The entire set was a prison yard and Cole's band and back-up singers bellowed out from behind bars while two security guards watched over the stage which had boxing bags and a bench press to set the scene.

Cole opened with For Whom The Bell Tolls from his most recent album 4 Your Eyez Only and on to Immortal, and every single person had their arms in the air as the North Carolina rapper pounced across the stage in an orange prison jumpsuit.

Speaking to the crowd for the first time Cole announced: "I'm from North Carolina. We're from two different worlds but we probably feel the same thing.


"It's literally on the other side of the world. Growing up, we didn't know this place existed. But here you are in Auckland, New Zealand all happy and shit. New Zealand, can we live in this moment?"

Cole anxiously questioned whether the crowd would know early hits from his 2009 mixtape The Warm Up, and was shocked when one loyal fan appeared on the arena's screens singing the track word-for-word as Cole spat out the hit.

Cole took a second to thank the fans and declared it's "not right to assume" that Kiwis wouldn't know his full discography.

"I can't assume shit but if you were there for that one, I can assume you were there for this one" before launching into Work Out and on to Forbidden Fruit.

Later, following an energetic performance of Neighbours, Cole revealed the inspiration behind the track - and the entire live show set-up.

CCTV footage lit up the screens on stage showing a large SWAT team surrounding his house, kicking down doors and disabling security cameras, sending the crowd into roaring chants of "FTP" (f*** the police).

In an effort to calm the crowd, Cole thanked them for their support before the arena was lit up by cellphones for Love Yourz and popular hit Wet Dreamz as the crowd mellowed.

Ending his show on a high-note, he burst into 2014 Forest Hill Drive hit No Role Modelz and encouraged the crowd to always show peace and love.

When J Cole was last here in 2014 he opened for Eminem as part of the Rapture event at Western Springs. This time his own tour at Auckland's Spark Arena was a sell-out and it's clear to see why as Kiwis resonated with every word and every lyric the rapper sent across the stadium.