J. Cole’s debut strives for depth
Posted on Oct 13, 2011 in Features
It’s a “Cole World,” we just live in it. J Cole released his debut album “Cole World: The Sideline Story” on September 27 and has a certifiable hit on his hands. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 217,000 copies its first week.
The record’s impressive first week numbers have proved that hip hop is not dead. The album is number three on the world chart, which is extremely impressive for such a new artist. Cole first showed off his abilities to the masses when he was featured on Miguel’s hit “All I Want is You.” He then went on to release his own work and make a name for himself. Throw in some mix-tapes, including his hit “Who Dat,” J went on to find success on his own.
Cole was originally compared to Drake and some even said he was better. After hearing the rapper’s debut, it’s safe to say he has a completely different style from Drake. Each rapper does convey more positive messages than most in this industry, but they aren’t the same at all. Cole’s style is very reminiscent of earlier 90’s hip hop.
J’s buzz single off the album was “Work Out.” The song wasn’t a big deal but was a pretty good record to start things off. He found a bigger buzz around the lead single “Can’t Get Enough” featuring Trey Songz. The song and video for the single are very reminiscent of Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin.” Though it may not have seen as much success, the song “Mr. Nice Watch” does feature the heavyweight.
With no big impact on the charts, it was somewhat of a shock when Cole found such success with his debut. The album is very traditional hip hop but it’s not overdone. He adds some more modern aspects to the sound to create an overall good body of work. He received much praise for the record and mostly positive feedback. The album has 16 tracks and a deluxe version on iTunes with two additional tracks.
“Sideline Story,” “Cole World” and “Rise and Shine” really exemplify what J Cole and this record is all about. They discuss real life issues while voicing his opinions on life and his success. “In The Morning” featuring Drake was an early leak from the album and is a fan favorite. Another fan favorite that was trending on Twitter for days after the album’s release was “Nobody’s Perfect” featuring Missy Elliot. The song has Elliot lending her rare but nice vocals to the track and is one of the best on the record.
“Breakdown” and “God’s Gift” are some other really good songs on the record that prove Cole is far from being a gimmick like many rappers of today. J recently released a video to his bonus track “Daddy’s Little Girl.” The video displays a little girl doing ballet and growing up to be a stripper rather than following her dreams of being a professional dancer.
Cole truly makes you think about society today and should be commended for putting such depth in his work. “Cole World: The Sideline Story” should be on every hip hop fan’s iPod.