J. Cole’s “Born Sinner”

Despite vowing I would ignore any leak that sprung regarding Cole’s new album, I caved. I’ll still buy it, of course…but have no regrets about giving in to the temptation. So here goes. I had seen a couple interviews from HNHH, XXL, etc with Cole after his “Power Trip” release with Miguel, and he briefly talked about Born Sinner and his plans for it. He didn’t reveal that much, though, so I was getting hyped along with everyone else. It took FOREVER. So ready to jump on the album review, all the pushing backs of the release date were frustrating me. I was speechless upon the first listen to this…there are so many concepts at work on this new album; it’s cohesive to say the least, like a story. I won’t give away too much, though. There are some amazing collabs on it; neo-R&B singer James Fauntleroy and new classic Kendrick Lamar are two of a handful of guests on the album. The only contemporary work I can really compare it to is Kendrick’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City from this past October. It’s like a flowing story, time-lining Cole’s trials & triumphs, the dark and light in his life. Transformative. We see his “light at the end of the tunnel” arrive from the gloomy intro. It’s spiritual and human. Like… goosebumps during every song. Maybe even a couple tears. It offers this rawness unfound in any hip-hop albums as of late and I have no reservations about his simultaneous album release date with Kanye West on the 18th. In fact, I hope it squashes Yeezy’s sales. By a lot. 

[Highlights of the album include “Crooked Smile”, “She Knows”, “Born Sinner]

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