Home > Editorials, Music Reviews > A (small) Sneak Peak at: J. Cole’s Untitled Album

A (small) Sneak Peak at: J. Cole’s Untitled Album

J. Cole’s still untitled album has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. Cole was supposed to drop the album in early May–but due to factors such as legal clearing of samples, leaks, a possible spot from Jay Z, and word from his label–the album has been delayed just a tiny bit.

In a recent post, I took a look at J. Coles single– Return of Simba. A song that not so subtly had Cole telling us that he just couldn’t wait to be King, when the crown is passed down by his mentors Kanye West and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.

This album is very much supposed to be Coles coronation process and has everyone anticipating whether Coles hype and Hova’s endorsement will actually be the crowning of new rap royalty–or will fall short, all talk and no action.

Cole is no stranger to the “rap game”.  He has had guest spots on numerous Roc-A Fella tracks and his mix tapes have been extremely successful. So all of this “King” talk could certainly hold merit, especially after  listening to tracks such as Lights Please, Dreams and I Get Up, three songs that sparked my interest for young Cole and his future endeavors.

So what do we know about his untitled album?

We do know that he is being very meticulous with it–he hasn’t picked a name yet because he wants the name to fit the sound of it–which is admirable.

The album has been covered with secrecy but leaks and new information seems to break out at just the right moments to keep everyone talking.

So far we know the album will have 15 tracks including the leaked/released tracks Who Dat, Work Out and Cheer Up. Some of the tracks are ones we have heard before via mixtapes, but Cole has also stated that some of the tracks are ones he has always thought were “too good for mix tapes” so he has been saving them for the album.

It’s hard to say what the over all feel for the album will be–but we can look at the released tracks and gain a very small taste of what to expect upon the albums arrival.

As a disclaimer: No one seems to know the order of the tracks, so I just put them in order of release. Also, I can’t do justice to the lyrical content–it’s great, so take a listen.

1. Who Dat

One of his early tracks Who Dat is fortunately not another poorly done tribute to the New Orleans saints, but rather a horn based passionate track about Cole’s rising stardom and the work he endured to get where he is. It’s a rallying cry for his new album–a track in which he speaks of his success while also having a few choice words for his “haters”. Great lines in this one too, it’s very much a song that’s introducing the world to Cole and his musical ability.

Quote:  “Cloud told me “ain’t you roc? well? where the fuck yo chain at?” Guess it’s somethin like your girl, nigga it aint came yet.”

2. Work Out

The recently released Work Out has all the feeling of a 1990’s gangster rap joint–reminiscent of TuPacs California Love but mixed with a modern flow and the flair of J. Cole. The track incorporates a sample of Kanye’s Work Out Plan and lyrics from Paula Abdul’s Straight Up. The song is catchy and is a great release that creates just the buzz that Cole’s album needs.

Quote: (The beat trumps any quote in this tune, sorry just have to give props on it.)

3. Cheer Up

Cheer Up shows Cole’s softer side as he narrarates life advice to a girl on the track. Cole shows not only maturity in his rapping technique but also maturity through his real world wisdom–an aspect very much lost in main stream rap.

It mirrors the days of early rap where artists rhymed about struggles and overcoming social stigmas. The feeling of the song is very familiar to Tupacs Changes even quoting the line, “I wake up every morning and I ask myself, is life worth living or should I blast myself?”.   The ability to craft a good song that inspires without being cheesy is very impressive.

Quote:

Yeah school girl, cool girl. Your dress is sexy and your momma is a cougar. So she let you do the grown folk’s thing. Let you hang with them boys and they play you like a fool girl”

Impressive is a good word not only for Cheer Up– but for all of his recently released tracks.

Of course, after I write this he could come at us with two or three more–but so far, we are looking at a solid release from Cole that just may live up to all of the hype.

Keep your ears and eyes peeled for more album news as it surfaces.

Thanks for reading!

Image Courtesy of J. Cole Fans

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