J. Cole stumps the sophomore curse with Born Sinner. He fell back from the electronic sound we heard on his first album and decided to work with a more classic/real sound. I’m glad he didn’t fall prey to the idea that he needs to appeal to the pop audience. This album is about applicable content, smooth beats and thought provocation.
Power Trip is a catchy song, I find myself singing that hook at any random time of the day. I hope Cole and Miguel plan to continue working together, they have a great sound! In Chaining Day he talks about how he hasn’t even bought a house yet, but he keeps buying chains. The lyrics “I need you to love me” is an excuse for his behavior as well as his own repentance. He needs these chains in order for us to respect him as an artist. Cole likes to bring his own hypocrisies to light, in turn makes us think about our own lives.
Another song that really grabbed my attention was Let Nas Down. This song talks about how Nas told him something he released was weak and he needed to go rework it. I wish a few more artists would take a step back from the hype, reanalyze and rewrite their rhymes as well. This album is a lot better than his first one. The song order is still a bit confusing to me, but overall a very good album.
New York Times – 50 killed that hook!
Niggaz Know – Cole bent this track!