Saturday, November 13, 2010


If you haven’t been hearing the name J Cole you must be living under a rock or got your head stuck up your ass. J Cole is buzzin’ heavy in Hip-Hop and for good reason. He’s mad lyrical with a sound somewhere between Drake and Kanye West. Even though “Friday Night Lights” is somehow labeled as a ‘mixtape’, don’t get it twisted; this is an album serving as a preview of things to come.

“Friday Night Lights” includes 20 tracks with features from Wale, Omen, and Drake along with the bonus track “Looking For Trouble” which alone includes Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean, and Cyhi Da Prince. “Too Deep For the Intro” is the real jump-off to the project and is immediately dope with that Erykah Badu flavor laced in real dope. “Before I’m Gone” is too long, but the first line hooked me “I hit the weed –I told myself the last time would be my last”. Lyrically this track is dope, but is just too long. The production of “Back to the Topic” is fly as hell. I’m a junkie for any percussion and the triangle’s clinkin through the song looped up had my bumpin’ my head through the whole song. “You Got It” is another dope track and actually might be my favorite of the entire album. As soon as “Villematic” starts you will immediately recognize it as Kanye’s record so I guess this is why J Cole calls this a mixtape. Quiet as kept, J Cole may have done this track more justice than Kanye…yeah I said it.

I love the way “Enchanted” builds and finally spills over when J Cole splashes in with his wordplay. Another dope track. By now I’m only 7 tracks deep and already thinking “CLASSIC”. Before I hit play on “Blow Up” I was preparing for full on negativity only because anytime I see a song that is almost 5 minutes long I expect it to get boring quick. Not true with “Blow Up”. Yet another dope track and yes, all the way through. The hook is dope and had me turning my speakers up to ‘shake the walls’ levels. The production is full of dope arrangement which helps to keep the energy rolling for the full 4 minutes and 59 seconds. “Higher” has a sing-song kind of bounce thanks to J Cole’s flow and the piano keeping time with the beat. So now I’m at the halfway point and other than the intro, I’m convinced this is a classic ‘mixtape’.

“In The Morning” is so smooth I had to replay it a few times before I could move on to the next track. Even though I am really burned out on hearing Drake’s voice – I have to admit that Drake was a great fit for this track. “2 Face” starts off real slow but be patient and let those first 11 seconds roll – it gets dope after that and is dope the rest of the way through. “The Autograph” is probably one of my least favorite tracks. If I could change one thing with the track I would engineer those horns to stand out more and command the track. You will recognize the beat from “Best Friend” right away, even though it is slowed up. “Best Friend” brought the project back to classic status right away after the disappointing “Autograph” track. I just couldn’t decide what I liked more; the verses from J Cole or the singing laced between verses. The song is dope…I’ll just leave it at that.

“Cost Me a Lot” is another favorite of mine from the project and is one that I will be chopping into my mixes heavy. Love everything about the song…literally. “Premeditated Murder” is one you really need to listen to for the wordplay and the messages J Cole delivers. Lyrically this one has the deepest content. “Home for the Holidays” is another highlight and is really a good follow-up to “Premeditated Murder” because it’s a feel-good vibe right off the top (although the words he spits are not entirely ‘feel-good’). “Love Me Right” is dope with the way the sample is chopped and looped up. Production is definitely a highlight of this entire album.

Overall, “Friday Night Lights” is a dope project that I would definitely consider a must-download album. J Cole’s buzz is climbing so fast that I don’t really know where he will top off, but if you haven’t become a fan yet…just hit play on “Friday Night Lights” and hit me with your feedback when you’re done.

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