I can’t begin to tell you how stoked I was to listen to J. Cole’s latest release, Purple Rain, when I first read the title. Sweet baby jesus, I thought, could the future of Roc Nation really be taking a stab at a hip-hop version of Prince’s classic? Sadly, once I pressed play I discovered there was little Prince to be found. Maybe it’s that guitar sample, maybe it’s the concept or maybe Cole was wearing a ruffled shirt while he recorded the song, but regardless the Prince-less result’s the same – more dope Cole music. Fresh off crushing Looking for Trouble, the N.C. emcee delves into his storytelling repertoire, laying down tales of success and lust gone wrong over a mellow, self-produced beat that rides along on snapping percussion, light synths and that aforementioned guitar. I don’t want to swell his ego, lord knows one Kanye’s enough, but for my money Cole just can’t do wrong lately. While Rain won’t be appearing on his upcoming Friday Night Lights mixtape, plenty more dopeness is assuredly on the way come this Friday, November 12.
Written by Nathan S. on 11/9/10
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"Grown Simba" (2009)
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