Home > Music Reviews > Review: J. Cole- Return Of Simba

Review: J. Cole- Return Of Simba

So, J. Cole decides to compare his hip hop career to that of a Disney Movie with his new single Return of Simba–the 1995 film about a lion cub who befriends the likes of an effeminate wart hog, a shamanistic baboon and a laughing hyena voiced by Whoopie Goldberg.

So does this association hold deeper merit? Or will it just be fodder for other rappers to feed upon?

Nonetheless, I can see the association–also heard at the beginning of the track– in the film, Simbas father promises Simba that the whole land will soon be his, “everything the light touches” will be his kingdom.

If you are familiar with J. Cole you know that he was recently signed by Roc A Fella records and is a protege of two kings of the industry, Jay Z and Kanye West.

This long awaited debut album whose title has not even been revealed due to fear of “inconsistency”, is supposed to be J. Cole becoming familiar with his kingdom, that kingdom being the rap industry–and he is awaiting his crown being passed on by Hova and Kanye.

The album has been delayed for nearly a month, most recently due to a hold up in clearing a Kanye West sample for use.

If anything the frequent delays are keeping the album on the lips of numerous news outlets and the minds of hip hop fans, so the delay could actually be helping to market the album rather than hindering it.

A huge reason why I am anticipating the release of the album to see if Cole’s bark can match his bite.

Will he really be the King of the Jungle? or merely a kitten with a mean growl who is stuck in the shadow of his two legendary mentors?

In the track Return of Simba, Cole comes at us hard with a smooth but rhythmic flow. His name dropping of Jay  Z in the track at first seems disheartening. It seems as if Cole just wants us to know that he is friends with Jay-Z so that means we should  like him. However, Jay Z is a symbol of status in the industry, so rubbing elbows with him does hold water to a point in regards to talent.

Either way, some witty lines on this track makes up for the cheap name drops.

One of my favorites:

‘Cause I only made classics, now what that take? Timing
Cole under pressure, what that make? Diamonds (Diamonds, Diamonds, Diamonds)

Return of Simba is definitely a note worthy piece with its flawless musical track and Coles on point flow, granted its no Lights Please, but its up there.

The song also makes a great introduction to his album and his awaited debut into the rap game, but again, will he live up to his talk?

Time will only tell.

Image Source Courtesy of Weall Scheme

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