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J. Cole Album Review: Born Sinner

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I remember where I was when I heard Work Out.  I was in the car and I nearly crashed by how terrible the song was.  Since then I vowed to never listen to a J. Cole song.  That’s (sadly) a true fact.  However, since then I’ve read about many things that prove that Work Out was just a fluke and the J. Cole is one of the greatest rappers of this generation.  I took that and listened to Born Sinner with great stride.  With a statement so preposterous, my expectations weren’t decreased as I listened to the album.  In fact, I thought the album was one of the best albums I’ve listened to in a while.

The album begins with Villuminati, an interesting and smart song that establishes Cole as the lyricist he is.  For those who haven’t heard too much from Cole, this song quickly changes their mind.  This sets up the entire album going forward.  Not only that but the majority of the album is produced by Cole himself, which means that he’s pulling double duty.  This doesn’t mean that his tracks are any less inferior nor are his lyrics corny; he works hard to prove himself the viable M.C. and the producer with a great album to boot.


Cole doesn’t brag about the things he owns, he simply talking about his placement in hip-hop and how he feels he should be viewed: as a king worthy enough to ranked among Jay-Z and Nas.  He clearly has both of these men as his idols with lyrical content that mimic their styles.  I guess that’s why I was so drawn into the album.  He isn’t just rapping about his riches, he’s painting a picture for the audience using his words about social issues.   I prefer to listen to a socially conscious album than to listen to another hip-hop party album.


The album is only 16 tracks long on the standard release and features TLC, Kendrick Lamar, and Miguel.  There aren’t a whole lot of featured artists but that shouldn’t be a bad thing; Cole has a lot on his mind and he wants to express himself the best way he can.  On a scale of one to five, five being the best and one being the worst, I would scale Born Sinner with a four. The album is a joy to listen to and it’s capable of repeat listening’s without becoming too worn out.  If you’re in need of a good hip-hop album, buy this on iTunes.

Jonathan Silva is a graduate and current student at Full Sail University going for his Master's Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing for film blogs like Get The Big Picture or listening to music, he's either watching movies or playing video games. His love for all things entertainment shine through in his writing.