J. Cole – Born Sinner – Album Review | by SIC ILL
Villuminati, J. Cole comes out saying sometimes he brags like Hov, referencing Jay-Z. He talks about how he used to curse Biggie and Jay-Z when 2Pac was around then a decade later was backstage trying to get him to listen to his demo. LAnd of the Snakes, capitol L and A he raps over Outkast’s art of storytelling beat, the topic is about watching out for corrupt people. Power Trip is the most popular and commercial track, it features rising r&b superstar Miguel on the chorus, this track is mainly for the ladies. Mo Money is an interlude, in it he names all the ways he gets money now and remembers times when he didn’t have much money. Trouble is about all the dangers he goes through in life. Runaway is about him talking about how when he’s in relationships it feels like he’s in handcuffs, he wants to runaway sometimes. She Knows is about how he has the intelligence and skill to even deal with bad woman. Rich Niggaz is about how he used to be envious of people with a lot of money. Next comes Forbidden Fruit featuring Kendrick Lamar, Cole talks about Adam and Eve, Kendrick does the chorus saying that woman come and go just like money comes and goes. Chaining Day is about how the materialism of artist’s images deceive the public on how things really are. Ain’t That Some Shit interlude is actually just a really short track, he talks about how he can still walk in any hood because he’s not jaded. Crooked Smile features TLC, he talks about how he’s still not fixing his crooked teeth and how he can’t understand how some woman are so insecure. Let Nas Down is a classic J. Cole song about how he used to idolize Nas, but he let down his idol down and how it hurt his soul, the No I.D. beat in the background with what sounds like a live saxophone is really good. Born Sinner is the title track, he reflect on his youth and how bad he used to be.
Miss America is about the potentials in life. New York Times is about the news of the day, local and national, this features 50 cent on the chorus, he says if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. Is She Gon Pop is a song for the ladies, he talks about his superstar status and his influence in small cities, and how people should chase money and their work and the woman will come. Niggaz Know is a self-glorifying track and how he wasn’t the same after touring and making millions. Sparks Will Fly is the final track, this is a mellow r&b/rap crossover song.
Overall this album sounded rounded out and full. It’s definitely a candidate for hip hop album of the year. J Cole mixes real hip hop, mainstream top-40, r&b, storytelling in about every track. He carried the whole cd and used only 3 major features, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and Miguel. Solid effort. I give this 5 out of 5 stars.
– SIC ILL
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