Words by Jos Smart/@JosSmart
For anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention to rappers on the come up, a young man by the name of J.Cole should be firmly on your radar.
Over the past couple of years the Fayatteville, North Carolina native, and former baller, can put a tick next to a few fairly impressive tasks on his to-do list. Drop a classic mixtape with The Warm Up. Check. Get signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. Check. Unleash a slew of crushing guest verses murdering rappers on their own shit. Check. Be named to XXL’s famed Freshman 10 list. Check. Not a bad start right?
As of yesterday, J.Cole can also add another milestone to his résumé. Breaking the internet. Last night saw the release of Cole’s mixtape Friday Night Lights, his final project before of his official Roc Nation album drops in 2011. To say there were a few people waiting on this would be a slight understatement. According to a live interview with Cole on DJ Semtex’s 1Xtra show last night, there were 4,000 people visiting his website per second in anticipation of the download link going live. His site inevitably crashed and download speeds for the link he posted for FNL were so slow it seemed as if the internet was struggling to keep up with Cole’s faithful following.
So Friday Night Lights has now dropped and it’s sounding nice. One of many standout tracks, Before I’m Gone, provides as an excellent example of why the man is where he is today. For those tired of reading, listen to the track here. For the readers and anyone wanting an example of the type of deep and emotionally powerful lyrics that Cole drops on the regular, check out his third verse from the aforementioned track:
Them old n***** saying
Cole the wrong one bringing the city shine
All he ever doing is painting pictures of crime
Telling stories of pain, painting pictures of dope
Bitch if you listening, I’m painting pictures of hope
That boy in class embarrassed because he broke
Hoping today he won’t be the butt of somebody’s joke
See me I lived it all, from dirt poor in a trailer
Worried about my mother and never trusting my neighbours
To middle class with a backyard and my own room
To being the only black kid in my home room
Academically gifted and followed my own rules
Was running the streets, hey Ma I be home soon
Was out chasing hoes, was out hooping
Them n***** wasn’t balling but yet they was foul shooting
So meet the newest role model who don’t know how to fake this shit
Never sold a rock and look I made it bitch
Boom. Ok, if you’re not sold by now then there’s no hope. I hear the Take That reunion album is going to be awesome.
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