Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"J. Cole - Born Sinner" Review by Dom

Overview: A sinners album sent from Heaven.

J. Cole is a rapper from North Carolina and Born Sinner is his sophomore effort. As with Mac Miller, I've never been a big fan of Cole but with Cole it's more because I've never really listened to much from him. I've heard "Work Out" and "Who Dat" before this album but for some reason I was interested in this album. I wasn't expecting to like this, if anything Cole was already in the negative for me cause outside of his verse on "They Ready" by DJ Khaled with Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar on I had never been impressed by him.

The Positive: "Villuminati" starts it off with a band which has Cole going hard with a Biggie sample mixed in for good measure. He tackles his struggles, homophobia, the Illuminati among other topics. "Power Trip" is the lead single from the album, while commercial sounds great with a great beat and hook sung by Miguel. "Runaway" and "Rich Niggaz" are definitely standouts for great reasons. "Forbidden Fruit" is a song I'm still not sure about, I like the song but at the same time, what's the point of featuring Kendrick Lamar if he's just gonna do the chorus and not a verse? Especially when the two of you say you have a collaborative album in the works. "Crooked Smile" is an ode to women in a positive light. "Let Nas Down" and "Born Sinner" are both amazing songs, the beat on the former is beautiful and the story on it is told so well. Since I have the deluxe I'll talk about those as well because they're worth it. "Miss America" is a great song and the second single, rightfully so. "New York Times" features 50 Cent also only on the hook, I'm okay with this because 50 has definitely fallen off quite a bit with his verses. We've had a few tastes of Street King Immortal and none of it was too impressive, except Em's verse. One of my favorite tracks on the entire project is the final song on the deluxe edition: "Sparks Will Fly" and I get why some people won't like it. It's a love song about staying with a girl to smooth out the rough patches instead of throwing in the towel. His verses are great and the hook sung by Jhene Aiko is beautiful.

The Negative: "Chaining Day". Seriously, that's it. If I'm nit-picking, the beats and production are good but nothing is too stellar. The only song for me where the production really shines is "Let Nas Down" with a 90's sounding beat updated for 2013. The beats aren't bad, they're there and they're good, most importantly they allow Cole to flow over them without him getting lost in the beat.

Amount of Tracks Kept (Including Deluxe Edition): 18/21

Rating: 9/10

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