It feels like it was yesterday when my friend LaRhonda Davis told me about her close friend named Jermaine, aka J. Cole, who was making a buzz in New York. She sent me a link to his latest tape, The Come Up. I gave it a few spins and my initial reply was, â€œHe straight. I need to hear something more though.â€ A few weeks later as I was just lurking around the underground hip hop scene via Internet, I saw a new mixtape from J. Cole called The Warm Up. After one listen, I knew he had it. Now, almost two and a half years later, Cole World is released. Not only is it a strong debut, but itâ€™s hands down the best debut by any relatively new artist in the past five years. That includes, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, B.O.B., Wale and Drake. This blog isnâ€™t necessarily here to tell you how great this album is, but as to why you should support and actually buy it. In fact, I have five reasons.
1. J. Cole Is NOT An Overnight Sensation/No Gimmicks
You ask 100 J. Cole fans whatâ€™s there favorite song, you will get 15 â€“ 25 different answers (Mine is â€œLosing My Balanceâ€). Heâ€™s built his brand of music for the past three years with amazing lyrical content and smooth beats that touch your soul. Now compare J. Cole to a Kreayshawn, you can ask 100 of her fans (If you can find them), and all will say â€œGucci, Gucci.â€ Not cool.Nevertheless, Cole World has a brand built on a foundation of quality music. In the words of Jessica Simpson, â€œThis aint no fly by night.â€
2. If J. Cole Wins, Jay-Z Wins
Thereâ€™s no secret to this, but Jay-Z hasnâ€™t been the greatest front office rep. From his fumbles at Def Jam with Joe Budden, Method Man and LL Cool J, Jay-Z has always had this dark cloud looming over him. Now at RocNation, Hov has been given the opportunity to start over and with his first chance, he hands it off to J. Cole. If the Sideline Story succeeds, Jay-Z wonâ€™t be claimed as a genius, but he will be able to take the monkey off of his back from prior years mistakes.
3. Storytelling Ability
Everyone loves a good story. When we were kids, we loved a good story. In hip hop, to get on legendary status, you must be a storyteller. That list includes the likes of Jay-Z, B.I.G. and Eminem to say a few. Now in this age, Cole provides his story for others to take in. Almost like an audio book where Sideline Story talks about abortion, heartbreak, fatherless children and the overall development of a kid just chasing his dreams in a not so perfect environment. You donâ€™t see this type of story make it on to the mainstream scene. I suggest you listen and buy.
4. J. Cole Produced Over 75% Of The Album
Not only do you get an awesome rapper, but the man makes his own beats as well? This sounds too good to be true, but itâ€™s indeed a fact. Not since The College Dropout have we seen such a phenomenal rapper/producer. Does that not want you to grab a copy right now?
5. J. Cole Can Rap
Thereâ€™s no doubting how good Cole is lyrically. If you count his two latest mixtapes and his debut album, you can make a claim that J. Cole is one of the top ten down south lyricists ever (Same can be said about K.R.I.T.). Bar for bar, verse for verse, you canâ€™t name five better lyricists than J. Cole thatâ€™s â€œoutâ€ right now (Dropped an album in the past 18 months).
Get Sideline Story today. Like J. Cole said himself â€œAn album is $10 you act like it’s 10 G’s, This food for thought, cost the same as 2 # 3’s.â€ Most of the hip hop community wants J. Cole to win. One copy might be all he needs to obtain this victory. Letâ€™s prove the label wrong.