I should have been wrote this review but just didn't get around to it until now, you've all had a good week and a half to listen and have a accurate opinion on this album so lets get right into it. Where should I start with the Cole World: The Sideline Story album? Well first let me say that It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, not because the records or lyricism isn't on point; quite the opposite actually. The problem resides in the fact that the album feels kind of old, I mean I've been listening to “Lights Please” for almost 2 years now, “In The Morning” is about to be just over a year and if they didn't scrap “Who Dat” as the first single, that would have been a year and change as well.
Then you have the partially old verses mixed in with new content, on other tracks on the album that aren't supposed be old. Now all that aside this is still a pretty good album, for some reasons most fans didn't gravitate towards a joint like “Mr. Nice Watch” while I believe that it was one of the most standout tracks on the album. On the flip side I thought a record like “Can't Get Enough” wasn't a good single, the pubic disagreed and responded very well to it, that record has since grown on me and feel the same way as others now.
Overall the album is solid from a lyrical standpoint, there's also not much commercially or Pop viable records on the album. That could be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view. If coherent raps over hard beats is what your looking for then this album has it. Unlike Lil Wayne who hides his elementary punchlines behind one of the best deliveries in the game, Cole goes in the another direction. He uses very well thought out and clever lines but doesn't make it the highlight of a verse, you know style of rapping right? The filler line followed-by the “saw-what-I-did-there” punchline at the end of the bar, yeah J. Cole isn't one of those guys.
J. Cole's style has always been more about a complete song and the message it delivers; other than trying to impress with a single line, the hook might not be the greatest and the verses aren't exaggerated but the overall song sores above your expectations. He also did a little story telling on the album like on the “Lost Ones” record where he raps in a 1st person point of view from both the male and female perspective, story telling is definitley one of his strong points and he should do more of that going forward.
This is what makes the album worth while, and lets not forget this is a debut album so there's plenty of time for improvement. Cole is still in the transitional phase where he still doesn't know who he is as an artist to a full extent, he still doesn't know which records will work and which ones won't. The great thing about being a good rapper is that your fans will wait for you to figure it out and transform the same way Khalifa, Drake, and even Nicki Minaj fans did. Cole World: The Sideline Story is an official introduction to what J. Cole has to offer, which is a talented artist who's set to evolve and improve far beyond what you currently see. J. Cole has a bright future in this game.
My rating for this album is from the state of mind of someone who hadn't heard most of the album prior to last week.
I give it 4 out of 5.
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