Cole World: The Sideline Story
Cole World: The Sideline Story
by J. Cole
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2011 debut studio album from the American rapper, which follows up on the success of his three underground mixtapes. Featuring guest appearances from Trey Songz, Drake, Missy Elliott and his mentor Jay-Z.
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|Audio CD Release Date:||September 27, 2011|
|Studio:||Roc Nation / Columbia|
|Number Of Discs:||1|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 134 reviews|
|2. ||Dollar and a Dream III|
|3. ||Can't Get Enough|
|4. ||Lights Please|
|6. ||Sideline Story|
|7. ||Mr. Nice Watch|
|8. ||Cole World|
|9. ||In the Morning|
|10. ||Lost Ones|
|11. ||Nobody's Perfect|
|12. ||Never Told|
|13. ||Rise and Shine|
|14. ||God's Gift|
|16. ||Work Out [*]|
Record Label: Sony
Catalog#: 88697 579202
Country Of Release: NLD
Year Of Release: 2011
Notes: .. Sideline Story
|Average Customer Review: ( 134 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 43 found the following review helpful:
Cole Under Preasure Makes Diamonds Sep 27, 2011
By Q. Pair
Its not so easy to find quality hip hop these days that has made it to mainstream success, but by some miracle, J. Cole has been able to breach that barrier and make the transition from mixtape rapper to mainstream artist. The Dollar and a Dream kid has been on his grind, and it looks like its about to pay off with Cole World: The Sideline Story.
There are three major reasons to like J. Cole: Substance, lyrical versitility, and production. Cole goes against the grain of a majority of rappers coming out the south and strives for lyrical dominance in the game. That being said, this CD (as well as any other project he's put out) is heavy with material that is a far cry from the usual Blingidly-bling-bling bullcrap and materialistic infatuation that saturates this genre. Simply put, the man has something to say, and its worth listening to. Also, in the same fashion as Kanye West, J. Cole produces much of his own music, and is responsible for 15 of the total tracks on the CD.
As a whole, this is a very personal album, in the sense that J. Cole is not affraid to expose himself and tell his story as it really is. Much of his appeal comes from his songs being so down to earth and easy to relate to. You dont need rose tinted platinum framed shades to visualize the things he talks about. "Dollar And A Dream III," the opening track, is truly an epic song, painting a vivid mural on the walls of your mind of the struggles of being broke with little else but a dream and some hope. Cole continues to expose his soul to the world with "Breakdown" where he talks about his father's lack of presence in his life, his mother's drug addiction, and a 3rd person perspective of a man in jail with a woman at home who is struggling to stay faithful. Also worthy of note is the stand out track "Lost Ones" where Cole portrays a young couple talking about abortion, playing both roles in his rhymes and showing both sides of the argument in a gritty, true to life fashion truely strikes a cord with you, especially if you have been in that situation (this song implies that he has before). And with "Daddy's Little Girl" he recounts the exploits of a young woman with daddy issues, abtly reffering to her as "This is Sade mixed with some Shawty Lo/Hey Jezabelle why you up in everybody fo/you lost and looking for a savior, I aint Mario."
Although there is an abundance of deep material to enjoy, Cole isn't serious all the time. He still shows love to the ladies, and has no trouble expressing it. Tracks like "Cant Get Enough" and "Work Out," while kind of plain and uninspired, are still lyrically potent and are fun once they grow on you a bit. But songs like "Lights Please" where Cole talks about trying to put substance in his relationship with a girl, but he always ends up getting lost in the sexual aspect of it, tend to keep things down to earth. And "In The Morning feat. Drake" is a well done, very listenable track about getting some at the start of the day.
Although not every song on here is a highlight, there are still many good songs. Tracks like "Never Told" "God's Gift", "Rise and Shine", the Missy Elliot assisted "Nobody's Perfect", "Nothing Lasts Forever" only tip the iceburg. J. Cole manages to find himself a nice balance of story telling, reflecting on serious topics, showing off for the ladies, and braggadocios rapping to make his debut work well.
However, although Cole World: The Sideline Story is a great piece of work, it isn't without its flaws. Specifically, "Mr. Nice Watch feat. Jay-Z" and Who Dat". In the weeks leading up to the release, "Mr. Nice Watch" got so much hype built around it due to a pending verse from Jay-Z, which came at the last minute. With all the build up, you would have expected gold to flow from the speakers, but both artists come up short and underperformed on this bad attempt at a club hit. And "Who Dat" was ok, but I was disappointed to see it on the album, even as a bonus track. Also, while I admire J. Cole being versatile enough to both rap and produce, his production skills are not quite where they could be on this CD. He has a lot of potential, but his beats can be pretty basic and at times, boring. Personally, I like the beats he makes, but I know that's not gonna fly with the masses in the long run.
Overall, Cole World: The Sideline Story is a solid piece of work; a product of sweat, tears and relentless grind that has paid off. J. Cole is truly an underdog in the rap game but I enjoy watching his progress to the top. Definitely a solid 5/5.
SN: Because Amazon didn't load the track list for some reason, here it is:
Dollar And A Dream
Cant Get Enough feat. Trey Songz
Mr. Nice Watch
In The Morning
Nobody's Perfect feat. Missy Elliot
Rise And Shine
Nothing Lasts Forever
Daddy's Little Girl
Who Dat (Bonus)
22 of 24 found the following review helpful:
A Dollar AND A Dream Sep 27, 2011
By Ryan K. Loosier
My dude...it's been years since I've had a favorite hip-hop artist, years since I've written a review for an album, years since I've actually purchased a physical copy of a CD...so why J. Cole you ask? Simply put, I relate to him...you can tell he's got his head on straight, he's down to earth, he talks to the fans in a way that makes you know he appreciates you and is right there with you. He doesn't put himself above his fans, he's modest, he let's his music speak for itself.
From the Come Up, to the Warm Up, to the now Blow Up of his "official" career, this here debut album...It's been good watching you grow Cole, good watching you do what you love. You can tell you got a passion for the game, as I do, and you're going about it the right way, not getting big-headed, not losing everything that makes you, well you. Keep bringing meaningful lyrics that express yourself and touch on things that matter, that people can relate too...A lot of rappers lose that when they get signed and make it big...they start talking about everything they got or just about themselves. Yea, the dude's life has changed, but he still talks about issues that relate to all of us. That right there, is an artist I can respect and will be a fan of for a long time. And he does it in a creative lyrical way that tells a story from a different perspective...Many artists out there just don't have that anymore. Listen to tracks like "Lost Ones" and "God's Gift" and "Never Told" and tell me that's NOT REAL. Story-tellin' Cole. Cole World. Support, buy this album, follow your own dreams as he did, and have some good music to listen to while you're doing it. Nuff said.
12 of 14 found the following review helpful:
J. Cole!! Sep 27, 2011
Hands down, one of the best freshman albums I've heard, and one of the best of 2011! J. Cole brings back hip hop with vivid story telling so fans can relate, while still providing quality singles. It may have some older songs from mixtapes, but who cares when Cole's been giving fans free quality music for years!? #ColeWorld no blanket!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Great Debut Album Sep 27, 2011
This album is the best debut rap album I've heard since Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. Definitely the best debut out of the new rappers (Wiz, B.o.B. etc..). Although it is great, it's not perfect. I don't really like the production on "Mr. Nice Watch" and "Cole World", these two songs will have to grow on me, but since the lyrics in both songs are good, I still listen to them sometimes. Besides the production on those two songs, honestly, the rest of the album (production and lyrically) is great from beginning to end, even with lights please and in the morning on it (which are two old songs from his mixtapes) because they fit the album very well (perfect placement on the album, sequence wise). If you are a fan of rappers with substance, story-telling in music, and great lyrics, then this is a must buy!! Well done Mr. Cole.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Cole World Stays True... Sep 29, 2011
I have had the pleasure of listening to J. Cole for almost two years now (losing my balance was the first song I ever heard by him). I say it has been a pleasure because as a new, up and coming artist, not too many people know of him yet, but it is evident that Cole plans to change all of that. The best thing I appreciate about this album is that he stayed true to his style, versatility, and most importantly content. Cole continues to rap about material that has been lost among the current mainstream rap/hip-hop. Not to say that there is anythig wrong with the usual "swag-girls-money" songs because I enjoy those club joints too (Cole's versatility does enable him to do both). However, Cole's music brings a refreshing take that the music scene could really use in my opinion, and he is not the only artist out bringing this type of effort either (the future of mainstream hip-hop does not look as lost as it once did). I really enjoyed his use of strings and piano (which he has often used before), especially in the intro, interlude and ending track (Breakdown, which is my favorite cut on the album) because to me it unifies the whole album. I waited with all other Cole fans for over 1 year for his first official album to drop, and I will say it was definitely worth the wait (...but Friday Night Lights did help ease the frustration)!
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