We’re going to review this with the convo style that we used for NWTS but first of all we have to introduce the dude who will be writing this with us.
L (@Slklouis): so I’d like to introduce the beast from the west, the high priest of Dol Gudor, the one afro that rules them all, the weirdest person that isn’t me. Ladies and gentlemen, Ladi
THL (@the_Ladi): dude. What is all this nonsense? Anyway, we’re going to break this album and the 13 parts it bears to bits
S: you’re going to breaking it alone mahn. We grade over here
THL: sorry sir
S: I’ll also like to introduce the man who has been chosen to play the Black Panther, the man with the iron fists, this country’s greatest hidden weapon and an accomplished black belt in 76 of the 74 martial arts disciplines. Ladies and gentlemen, Jon P
J (@oluwajonpee): you talk too much. Let’s start this
J: A lot of people would overlook this track because it’s the “Intro” but if after you’ve listened to the album, you go back to listen to this intro, it makes a whole lot of sense.
THL: this song has Cole singing about freedom and the right to happiness
L: but that is just it. He is singing not rapping.
THL: but everyone can still relate to it tho cos he is talking about happiness
J: this right here is dopeness.
L: I swear! Dude even compared himself to Rakim and Big Daddy Kane
THL: yeah, Cole is his own hype man. There is even a bar where he proclaims that he is Cole the god
J: Just the first verse alone killed it. And the ease with which he murdered it was just too good.
THL: his opening bar was the highlight for me as it set the tone for the rest of the track: “ FLOW BANANAS HERE, PEEL THIS BACK AND WHAT YOU’LL FIND IS YOUR HIGHNESS CAN PAINT A PICTURE THAT IS VIVID ENOUGH TO CURE BLINDNESS” .
J: this is a side of Cole we’re getting used to now. It’s an honest painted picture of life growing up for him.
L: too honest tho. I really didn’t need to hear about his first time and how he was awesome
THL: Cos it brought back memories of how terrible your own first time was, right?
Anyway, the frank, honest and self-depreciating nature of this track is one of the major reasons why I’m a Cole fan. His ability to take hush-hush topics and make magic with them is impressive.
THL: this is prolly one of the funniest tracks on this album as it talks about crushes, teenage years and everything (preparation and all) that goes into making the first time perfect
J: If you have a vivid imagination this track could you remind you of something Slick Rick or Biz Markie would do.
L: more Slick Rick than Biz markie tho
J: this is real!
THL: everyone knows Cole is a softie at heart
L: and in action too
THL: exactly. This track goes to show that as he raps about his shortcomings as a shy black kid, marijuana and trying to stay alive
L: Only problem is that unlike the previous track that sounds honest. This one sounds needy like he is pleading to be believed
J: nah. He actually sounds more honest here tho. It was only the flow that was different
A Tale of Two Citiez
THL: before anything, the hook here is just it and we just have him talking about the Hollywood dream and the lengths rapper go to to look fly.
J: I think it was easy for Cole to go in on this track because he didn’t produce it.
L: how does that help?
J: he had more time to focus on the lyrics (as opposed to both the beat and the lyrics as he normally would) So there’s just this almost sublime transition from verse to hook.
L: I actually don’t even know what he was talking about her but I know I enjoyed it and the major reason why I replay this is cos of the hook.
THL: RUN IT!
Aramaic tho. This song was just his way of taking shots at…well…everyone. Although he didn’t directly name anyone, we know part of this was for Kendrick
J: Kendrick actually called him by his government name
THL: are we still on about that control verse
J: his government name
L: dude even called out white rappers just two tracks after sampling Eminem.
THL: this is some revolutionary shxt. Dude used the first verse, hook and part of the second verse to proclaim that he is king and then he just turned on all white rappers in the third verse by emphasizing that rap has black roots.
J: Let me stay out of this one, all the singing is just not it
L: I’m going to stay away too.
THL: this track has Cole rapping about his career and rising to fame in Hollywood. He even uses St. Tropez as a metaphor for fame and fortune.
L: isn’t he a rapper? Why is he rising in Hollywood?
J: the hook in this is pretty much all this track offers really.
L: I actually like this one o. it offers more than the hook cos there are some nasty bars scattered around here
J: speaking of NASty
THL: the first verse is about Hollywood Cole’s lifestyle and the second verse is about love. That is all there is to it tho. The Hook is the highlight
L: but the song itself isn’t that bad
J: it isn’t bad at all. It is just that the main attraction is the hook.
L: I love how he says “this is the part that the thugs skip” just before he starts the second verse
THL: well, real nxggas don’t want to hear about love
L: how would you know?
L: now we’re even
No Role Modelz
J: the beat on this just gets you trapped in the song and you just have to listen to everything Cole has to say. And he delivers the “gospel truth” on this “Don’t save her…”
L: I didn’t hear all that one abeg. If any hoes out there need saving, I’m outchea
THL: we don’t want no reality show ho. This is another funny track as he talks about Hollywood hoes (the unfaithful lot). I’m pretty sure there are subs to be caught here
L: lest we forget, the song started with Cole referring to the lack of a male role model in his life growing up. He then digresses and that is when the advert for the Don’t-Save-Hoes Party started.
J: yeah, moving on
THL: the beat is up tempo for some strange reason
L: forget the beat. He is singing again. I’ll be on the next song, let me know when you get there
THL: this track is about regret. That is the best I can do with this track. It is prolly about some girl he liked in the past.
J: can someone please make the singing stop.
L: this one is actually better cos he is doing the sing-song-rap thing and it works here.
THL: this song has him talking about his mum and he won’t mind having more time to spend with her
THL: this one is just too real yo.
J: the thought and message behind this is golden and the beat is just right for it.
L: this sounds like Cole from his Friday Night Lights days. He knows how to rap about other people’s problems like they’re actually is and he does this exceptionally well here
THL: this one is about happiness and contentment and how happiness is actually just contentment with what you have
Note to Self
J: this has to be the longest outro ever *Cole’s voice*
L: was that a reference to an old Cole song? I can sort of remember the line but can’t remember the song. All I can remember is that he says “I’m on one” after that line
J: POWER TRIP
L: oooh. Anyway, this really is the longest outro ever. 14 bloody minutes.
THL: yeah, it is just the credits
J: I pretty much eased out of the mood of the album. Like for the first six tracks were Cole was telling stories with nice wordplay and thoughts it felt like listening to some really old school type rap style and it was just plain dopeness. From then on I eased in and out of the album like I enjoyed No role modelz and love yourz and of course the hook on G.O.M.D but as good as they are, it just didn’t feel like those first six tracks. I do have to mention this though, Cole should really leave some of the beats and production to his producers. But regardless, this album is the shit.
THL: TO CONCLUDE, THE ALBUM HAD A LOT OF ‘BLACK POWER’ VIBE GOING, IT ALSO HAS A LOT OF VIVID PICTURES PAINTED BY Mr. COLE. IT IS A CLASSIC ALBUM , SIMPLE RHYMES , QUITE AUDIBLE WITH GREAT OVERALL CONTENT.THOUGH, THE STORIES `IN IT WERENT AS MUCH AS THE USUAL YOU’D EXPECT FROM J.COLE.HOPEFULLY YOU THE NEXT ONE WILL BE FILLED WITH THESE JUICY STORIES HIS FANS LOVE. OVERALL THE ALBUM IS JUST RIGHT (BY JUST RIGHT, I MEAN FUCKING AWESOOOOOME!!!). THANK YOU.
L: first off, why is your shxt in all caps? Is it ————–. Sorry, the second half of that sentence was removed for bearing too much of a semblance to shxt Ice Prince would say.
Anyway. This album. I actually love this one and while it blew my mind on some levels, it disappointed me in other areas. The singing, to start with, has to stop. The singing on his last album made more sense as he used it sparingly. Saving it for the creation of awesome hooks. The lack of features means that we got to hear Cole’s pure sound as it is now. He has matured in sound and style and has let go of some of the things that held him back before like trying to create radio-ready tracks although he still forces the feeling of nostalgia at times. While there are no truly atrocious tracks as even the ones with him singing have their own advantages, the overall feel of the album is that of a series of compelling and honest tales. Only problem being that if he keeps releasing stuff like this then he will keep creating new standards and I feel like you can only go so far before imploding.
So we’re going to give this an A-