Friday, May 21, 2010

J. Cole: From The Come Up to Mixtape King

I will be reviewing J. Cole’s The Warm Up mixtape for this post.

Listen to the mixtape or download it here:

Background Information:
  • Birth name: Jermaine Cole  
  • Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
  • Influences: Tupac Shakur, Nas, and Outkast
  • How long has he been doing music: Since 1997
  • Type of Artist: Underground
  • Genre(s): Hip-hop
  • Current Label(s): Roc Nation/Columbia Records  
  • Similar Artists: Wale, No I.D., Kid Cudi, Young LA, and Young Dro
  • Fun Fact: He went to school in New York as a means of getting signed to a label.
            Jermaine Cole was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on Janurary 28, 1985, but shortly after his family moved to Fayetville, North Carolina. He began rapping at the age of 12, when his cousin from Louisiana spent the summer at his house. His cousin showed him to the basics of rhyimg. At the age of 15, J. Cole had composition books filled with rhymes, but he did not have any beats. He begged his mother to buy him a beat machine; he received the machine and started to produce his own tracks. He has released two mixtapes The Come Up (2007) and The Warm Up (2009). J. Cole does not have a set date for his debut album (The Blow Up), but he hopes to have it completed by August 2010. 
    J. Cole is a Mixtape King because he was the first artist to be signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. This was a great feat because Jay-Z decided to sign him after hearing “Lights Please.” J. Cole is no longer on the come up as his first mixtape title suggested. The artist/producer came into the game and is definitely warming up to the industry fast.

    Favorite Line: Hold it Down- “At times it’s hard to feel blessed in this madness.”

    Top 3 Tracks: (This list is ordered from the song I like most to the song I like least.)
    1. Dreams- I like every element of this song. J. Cole sets the scene by telling you that this song deals with thoughts which are actually crazy. He is in awe of a woman and he becomes obsessed with her. He wonders if she is really as great as he imagines or if he should “try and get some help?” To me this is the updated rap version of Just My Imagination by The Temptations.
    2. Lights Please- This song tells the story of J. Cole being involved with a young lady that is not very bright when it comes to academics, but she pleases him sexually. All his worries go away when he is with this young lady. This story was told well, and it really happens to people in relationship. I could relate his experiences with those of my friends, but he painted the picture so that I could view this type of relationship as if I had been through them.  
    3. The Badness- This track gives the essence of the yin and yang of life. J. Cole is trying to do good acts, but bad seems to loom around him. Everyone experiences that feeling from time to time. I would recommend this song to anyone.  
    Bottom 3 Tracks: (This list is ordered from the song I dislike most to the song I dislike least.)      

    1. Royal Flush- This song has two different instrumental, which is a little distracting. I do not care for the either of the instrumental. If the song had one instrumental it would be much better.
    2. I Get Up- This song moves too quickly form one thought to the next. By the time I visualize the picture he is painting he is far beyond that topic. He has a good message in this song, but I am missing that picture with all the vulgarity in this song.
    3. Heartache- The instrumental has a lot of elements. J. Cole’s voice has to compete with the background, and the instrumental is winning. If he was a little louder or the instrumental was a little less hectic it would be a much better song.

      I recommend The Warm Up for people that are motivated to accomplish things. This mixtape is all around great. I thoroughly enjoyed this mixtape, so it was hard to pick my top and bottom three tracks. He is a genius at telling a story through song. J. Cole is definitely a person that is coming into the music game quickly, and he should be well received with his terrific metaphors and lyrics.

      Other J. Cole Related Links:


      J.Snyde said...

      I've seen J.Cole live once and I enjoyed him very much. He recently was on the cover of XXL for the freshman 10' for 10. Do you think he will have a breakthrough into the mainstream radio?

      Rcollier029 said...

      J. Cole's new single "Who Dat" will probably make it to most radio stations sometime soon. It is a hot song!

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