J. Cole – Born Sinner – The Review




Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the most official album review for this album…any review I do will be the most official review for that album. Anyway, here we do not judge names, bank statements, or tmz appearances. We judge music. Dig that.


Songs are judged on a 0-5 basis (0 being cheeks, 5 being classic), and the judgement is based on the following: lyrics, production, and the cohesiveness of the two. Whether or not the song is good for what it was intended to do, and its according entertainment value.  Now, I am going to be very specific with what these numeric values mean in terms of what I am giving them. Here is the scale:


0-1.5 – Amongst the most terrible songs i’ve ever heard


2 – Bad song


2.5 – average song- not good/not awful


3 – pretty good, not mind blowing but good


3.5 – I could ride out to this


4 – Has great replay value


4.5 – Song/Album of the year candidate


5 – Classic hip-hop record


Albums in totality are judged by the same, but including flow of the album and consistency of attributes throughout the album. With that being said…

So…J. Cole. First song I heard from this cat was called ‘Young Simba’ This guy sounded hungry. He sounded focused. He sounded like he cared about be great. So I downloaded everything that he had out to that point. I came away from it thinking, “Dude can rhyme pretty well. His Pac cadence is kinda annoying. He gets a little boring after a minute. Yea nigga we know, you got school loans to pay.” But I had to admit that he can spit it. At the time, I bunched he, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar into a small category of potential big wigs in rap. Well… Drake separated himself commercially. Kendrick separated himself critically. J. Cole…his first album was not very good. Yet, on the principle of lyricism alone, I was still intrigued to hear what his second album would sound like. He released a mixtape series called ‘Truly Yours’ (Because ‘Yours Truly’ is way to cliche) where he drops a couple of gems…overall same shit though. Welp…lets see what he has offered up for the people this time around

1. Villuminati – Ahh ha! illuminati, the ville, (v)illuminati..rappers are so clever nowadays. Anyway, He starts it off by admitting that he knows he dropped a happy dud with the first joint by saying, “It’s way darker this time”…and he says that, and then this ole knock off Timbaland and Magoo shit drops, and on top of that..right off the bat.. sometimes he brags like hov. here we go. with the predictable ‘Juicy’ sample.  with that be said…he comes out of the gate spitting. The whole ‘faggot’ rant is awful.. overall he is rapping decent though. I like the whole illuminati run down though.  4/5

2. Kerney Sermon – I don’t give skits ratings. This doesn’t really add or subtract anything from the album. I guess it’s an attempt to connect the album and the album title

3. Land of The Snakes – I don’t believe in going in on cats for using classic records necessarily, but that is contingent upon the usage itself. For example, Lupe’s usage of ‘T.R.O.Y.’ didn’t bother me one bit. Lupe spit his ass off, and the spirit of what Pete Rock & C.L. represented. This shit sounds like it should have been on ‘Overly Dedicated’..I know thats not a J Cole record, btw.  and this is one of the things that I don’t like about J. Cole…he is pretty corny. He says things that are cringe worthy..that the average corny nigga would not even flinch when listening, but… “I bag two bitches like its two of me, bitch”…nah, b.  He is rapping very 2003 Kanye West on here. And he ran New York. Niggas is soft like Meagan Good lips are, and he came out the womb with his dicks hard… and let the record show, this song contains the first narrative of about a woman who has to deal with some type of screw up by a man she dealt with. I’m counting them. Next album, there will be a ‘let Big Boi down’ on there for sure 2.5/5

4. Power Trip feat. Miguel – I can’t tell if this is supposed to be about an actual chick, or a metaphor for music or some shit. One thing I can tell though…this shit is boring, bland, and corny. The best thing about this song is Miguel…and I hate Miguel. bang bang. 3/5

5. Mo Money (Interlude) – I’m giving this a high rating solely off of the beat. The best thing on the album to this point, and its one minute and eighteen seconds. And even though Jay-Z did this rhyme in 1997, he did his thing. 4/5

6. Trouble – Once again, dude fails to set himself apart from everybody else. 2 bars about being young. 2 bars about he living cool. 12 bars about some miscellaneous chick. Oh, and he don’t save hoes. And a hoe’s son is going to ask her did she bone J. Cole when he is 12 years old. Oh. 2.5/5

7. Runaway – Judging by the comedy routine, this is about to be another song about dealing with a woman. And I was right. Aesthetically, this is pretty decent. He does the little Mos Def shit on the hook. I aint glad at it, but I ain’t mad at it. 3.5/5

8. She Knows – sigh…the songs called ‘She Knows’ So you know what it is… Some shit she knows. You cheating..and she knows. The chick you about to hit..you got a girl, and she knows…and then out of nowhere RIP to singers…all over another bootleg Tim joint…Nigga, you are signed to Jay…you could probably actually get an actual Tim track. 3/5

9. Rich Niggaz – Wow, I finally realized why cornballs like him…His songs are like the narrative of inner voice of the cornball rap fan. This is some corny mess that corny hating niggas will relate to. 3/5

10. Where’s Jermaine (skit) – Another attempt to create a concept out of this album

11. Forbidden Fruit feat. Kendrick Lamar – Let Ali Shaheed Muhammad down. 3/5

12. Chaining Day – I do like this beat..Pretty dope. It clear at this point that he’s going to say the same exact thing every single song so…the beat is tight yo. 3.5/5

13. Ain’t That Some Shit (Interlude) – Jay, please introduce this little nigga to Tim.

14. Crooked Smile feat. TLC – Ok, I like this. It’s just like the rest of the album, but on a slightly better beat. 3.5/5

15. Let Nas Down – So I had to listen to all of this half mediocre production to get to this. No ID…I mean, its not an indictment or anything for No ID to have the hottest beat on your joint. With that being said…No killed this shit. No for the song in itself… LMAO! Hol up…So, Nas called your single wack. “Nas heard your single said he hate that shit, yo you the one why you make that shit…” So Nas feels how I felt. Of the young cats that were being showcased at the type, I too felt that Cole had the glow. Even more so than Kendrick Lamar at the time…I felt Section 80 was dope, but a little drawn out and I hadn’t listened to OD at that point. I though Cole was going to do it. His joint drops…false alarm. Thing is about Nas calling the joint wack: 1. It was. 2. I feel like you knew that shit. If you didn’t. you would have this long ass elaborate track explaining how you had to do what you had to do to please the boss. And then there’s this “I mean you made ‘You Owe Me’ dog I though that you could relate…”  Did this nigga just say that? Ok, let’s equate ‘Workout’ to ‘You Owe Me’  ok…now, where is your ‘NY State of Mind’ ‘The World is Yours’ ‘One Love’ ‘I Gave You Power’ ‘Nas is Like’ ‘Project Windows’ ‘Thief’s Theme’?…hell, where is your ‘If I Ruled The World’? Oh, you ain’t got one. Oh. Don’t try to parallel your shortcoming to the blunder of a god. “Yo Kobe, remember when you lost in the NBA finals in 2004..see nigga i’m just like you.” -Gary Neal.  Nah nigga. Now go play. and this sounds even sillier after Nas came through and crushed them buildings. With that said, This shit is aesthetically good. Especially this beat. No ID is an all time great. Do your research kiddies. 4/5

15. Born Sinner feat James Fauntleroy – This beat is pretty trash. This hook sounds awful. This sounds like a closing track, as he puts a lot more substantive subject matter on this one, which I can relate. and I will say the way he ended the album synchronizing the singing with the beginning of the album was dope. Not bad…especially considering the beat and hook being not very good. 3.5/5

Conclusion: J Cole is the emotional, insecure, fast mouth/slow thinking, pretentious, early 20 year old’s favorite rapper. Thats how he raps. That’s what his subject matter is. Listening to this cat, is like having a conversation with one of my little niggas. Like, clearly rappers aren’t typically known for their intellectual prowess (Not saying they aren’t intelligent) or their social/political correctness…but listening to this cat from the whole faggot spiel on the first joint, to how aware he seems to be about how women are mistreated yet he ain’t saving no hoes, to the ‘You Owe Me’ fiasco..I find myself saying to myself, “Man, this nigga a little dumb or something.” Not dumb on a Gucci Mane, George W. Bush level dumb. More on a hard headed, know it all, I think it therefore it is dumb. He attracts those types of listeners, and in the generation of uncharted levels of narcissism, false logic, and fake deep shit in textgrams with a nigga in the background who probably didn’t even say whatever the textgram says..thats damn near everybody under 30. Predictably so, he gonna sell some records. But this is stale and boring. Plus half of the beats are borderline awful. This little nigga Jermaine needs to find himself. 34 year old J Cole is going to be a great rapper if he doesn’t let his experience to that point jade him up. If he couldn’t rap on top of all this, i’d give this shit a 0.5/5…but since he is skilled as an emcee to an extent, and that tends to make unlistenable shit ok at times.. I’ll do it justice. 9 times out of 10, I am going to take ‘Mo Money’ and ‘Let Nas Down’ and add them to my ipod playlist and never listen to the rest ever ever again. Let Lance down. Walks away *What a Fool Believes by The Doobie Brothers playing in the background*