J. Cole has carved himself out a great career thus far in Rap: He’s had a few number one albums, some Grammy nominated records, and the ultimate respect from his rap peers throughout his tenure. What makes these accolades even more impressive, is the fact that he’s done this despite being more on the quiet side in terms of public appearances. With that being said, it’s been 5 years since his debut album released, which gave me a little of an itch to go back and see how he got to this high ranking in the first place. Therefore, I decided to take a look back at J. Coles first album ‘Cole World’.
5. MR. NICE WATCH (5/5)
‘Mr. Nice Watch’ sounds like futuristic/Terminator music; Intergalactic Cole is in the building on this one! It’s definitely a song that will grow on you each time you hear it.
This is a song that is sort of unique to Cole, as he’s being cocky on it.
BUT DAMN THAT GINA!
This song is top 5 because of Jay-Z’s verse, and how he’s going at Waynes head (supposedly). This will go down as one of Jay’s last good verses to me.
4. SIDELINE STORY (5/5)
Sideline story is one of the original songs on the album. On this track, there is so much to prove from the underdog Cole, and he does just that in this 4 minute span. Isn’t the way he’s rapping almost like a forecast of how dominant he would be in the rap game? It’s so confident, and so demanding of your ears! It’s probably how McDonalds felt when they first starting putting secret sauce on their burgers.
The chorus is simple (Almost Mellow), but effective, as it plays like a catchy primary school ballad; that definitely gives the song that young/innocent feel it needs.
How bout those pianos? Aren’t they so necessary even though it’s a simple ass tune to it?
3. BREAKDOWN (5/5)
‘Breakdown’ is unbelievable! Why limit it by calling it just music? Let’s go ahead and call it inspirational audio! In this song, there is so much passion/hurt/aggression from Cole – So much so that it made ME wanna slap the hell out of his father, and I don’t even know that man! Anyway, the song is the perfect representation of just how good Cole is: He can hit you with powerful bars that is so vivid and animated, and then he is able to harmonize at the end of the song like a humming bird. Extremely impressive.
The beat and the way he’s rapping is like a perfect marriage, as both are heavy hitting, but at the same time has parts in which they display beautiful harmony.
2. LOST ONES (5/5)
It’s so fitting that ‘Lost Ones’ follows ‘In the Morning’ on the Tracklisting right? So Cole hit it in the morning, and now that girls pregnant!
This song is from the perspective of high school Cole, and Shannequa aka ‘booty so big that you might just have the kid’ Johnson from around his way (I clearly made that name up). On the song, they’re going back and forth on whether they should keep the kid, and it is flat out chilling! You can hear the scared, timid side of the man, and the aggressive, ‘B–tch please!’ side from the woman. Please believe this song will make you think twice about putting your James Harden in your girl.
1. LIGHTS PLEASE (5/5)
I’m convinced that this is the song that got J.Cole signed to Roc-fella. Cole excels in songs like these, as its storytelling in a vivid manner. He is extremely descriptive in what he’s going through with this thirst bucket of a girl, and his pitch/tones adjust so effectively to describe the changes in his mood.
It’s conscience rap, with a splash of comedic genius; He’s not trying to shove down our throat why we should stop chasing narrow minded women, Instead, he’s telling us his own experience with that type of girl, in hopes that we agree with his stance. This song is one of a kind, and is one of the more slept on records in rap history…. YEA I SAID IT…..RAP HISTORY!
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
HOT: Can’t Get Enough, Sideline Story, Mr. Nice Watch, Lights Please, In The Morning, Lost Ones, Nobodies Perfect, Rise & Shine, Breakdown, God’s Gift.
MEH: Dollar & a Dream II, Cole World, Workout.
STAY AWAY FROM: NONE
OVERALL RATING (8.9/10)
The Album is raw rap! It lacks glamour and bling bling talk, doesn’t include crazy punchlines, and definitely refrains from drug talk. So the question is this: Who exactly would like this album? People who think outside the box in terms of the everyday life of a young black male would. The album is an adventure of sorts, and through the ride, you are blessed with lessons, perspectives, and innocence. Cole took you into his world on this album, and his world is pretty interesting.