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Debut album from J. Cole rules the world

The Sideline Story"

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From the intro to the very last song, J. Cole’s debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” will strike many listeners with fear and awe.

The young Jay-Z mentee comes out with guns blazing, claiming that this is a “real Cole world” and we’re all accessories in it. He is the last of the 2009 hip-hop freshmen to come out with an album and it was definitely worth the wait.

“Dollar And A Dream III” and “Can’t Get Enough,” featuring Trey Songz, open the album with superb beats and Cole’s story-telling style of rap. He’s coming for Lil Wayne’s lyrical crown. The intro and interlude are painfully real and raw and offer an insight into his life.

The one thing fellow rapper, Big Sean, fails at where J. Cole succeeds is the almost monotone-like way he sings the choruses of some of the songs he doesn’t have someone featured on. “Mr. Nice Watch” featuring Jay-Z shouldn’t be as catchy as it is, but the dubstep and electronica influences are irresistible to the ear. The only songs that don’t work are when Cole seems to be trying too hard at the kind of “luxury” rapping Kanye West excels at. “Cole World” is, ironically, the weakest song in the bunch. However, that is the only low point on the 19-track album, which is a ratio bound for success.

The most painful and the strongest song of all is “Lost Ones.” It’s a tearjerker that doesn’t deduct any man points from the budding rapper. “God’s Gift” is another song that touches the soul.

Cole told rap-up.com that his fans should expect a different sort of sound because he speaks about topics that have never been included in mainstream hip hop music before. He has succeeded.

It’s a “real Cole world” indeed.

Grade: A+

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