It's been a rough road for J Cole getting to this point. He has had his debut album almost come to a complete stop, but wait. What's this? The end of summer he releases the hot radio hit Workout, which included elements from Kanye West's New Work Out Plan, and now recent releases like, Can't Get Enough ft. Trey Songz & the nasty leak from Jay Z and Cole, Mr Nice Watch. There is no way you can expect to sleep on this album. Now Cole World: The Sideline Story has an official release date for September 27th, 2011. From the start Cole has compared his life and love for basketball to that of his career now in the rap game. When playing on the basketball team, he was always on the bench and was ready to move up to that starting position. This relates to how rap is, he must put in enough work to get recognized as a starter. His time has definitely come.
Intro is a smooth piano riff played by Cole. He is talking/rapping to his family and fans about the time he got signed to RocNation as the first official artist on the label. The album's first intended single was Who Dat, released in June of 2010. We all know what happens to music when it gets left on the shelf for too long? It becomes stale. Not enough buzz was created for Cole to release his debut at that time.
Dollar and a Dream III is the final chapter in the series that were included in his mixtapes, like The Warm Up. The record contains a sample from the video game Disney's Kindgom Hearts 2 "Darkness of the Unknown".
Another song that was previously released on another project The Warm Up, was "Lights Please". Cole explained at the listening session that this song was the track that won over his manager Mark Pitt and Jay Z. Another Interlude on the album appears and this one is a audio clip of J Cole explaining the day he found out Jay wanted to sign him. Immediately following, cops pulled him over and arrested him. "These n***** have no clue, I'm about to sign this deal with Jay Z... That was the easiest night in jail a n**** could ever do."
The song Cole World is definitely the one you need to be playing in rotation on your iTunes playlist. The track is a party in itself. I'm unsure of the origin of sample at this time, but I am guessing this is another track that compromised the album releasing on time. In an interview Cole states that it was a shame to have to re-record certain songs because of sample clearance issues. "I got a day to make that shit happen – not only match the feel of the sample, but change it enough so it’s not the same.”
On the song Lost Ones, the young rapper mellows out and speaks to the woman carrying his unborn child. A powerful story that is too emotional and raw too be just a story.
This is a collaborator I have been waiting for to get back in the game. Finally a long overdue appearance by Missy Misdemeanor Elliot on the song Nobody's Perfect. Missy makes up a memorable hook for this one. "Nobody's perfect, but your perfect for me."
Never Told is one of 3 tracks not produced by Cole. Instead, NO I.D. brings his expertise and soul along with him.
The Intro of Rise and Shine samples the documentary Backstage, where Jay Z is talking about finding that one great artist that he’ll sign. "He at the table right now with a bowl of apple jacks, and in between eating the apple jacks he writes some shit... And he want my spot. Ima find him though, Ima sign him. I don't want no problems." The story is simple: J Cole Rises to the Top and Shines.
Cole originally wanted Jay Z to end up on the next record God's Gift, but he says that he is a firm believer of things happening for a reason, so he made peace with it. I can see why J Cole wanted this from Jay Z. The beat alone is amazing. Take 'Em to the Strrreeeets!
The final track on the album is Breakdown. The story talks about his struggle growing up fatherless, his mother getting into drugs, and struggling to survive. A true rags to riches story.
Album has been unofficially leaked as of yesterday Tuesday 20, 2011 and it is hot. Before the leak even happened, Cole was anticipating it, and seemed pretty optimistic about the whole thing.
I understand it's apart of the game. I always understood that. As long as people hear it together, it's cool. I just know that people who are going to buy it were going to buy it anyways and the people weren'tprobably weren't anyways.”