You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘J. Cole’ tag.

Today Stevie Wonder turned 53 years young. In honor of the soul man’s birthday, I decided to select various hip-hop songs that have sampled Stevie Wonder’s music. Enjoy.

 

I can never get enough of the Madlib-MF Doom collaboration. Classic track from the duo. They sampled Stevie’s 1968 song, “How Can You Believe?”.

 

 

Dilla always seems to make Mixtape Monday – this time it’s a cut off his famous album Donuts. The Stevie sample is from the well-known song, “For Once In My Life”.

 

 

How about some old J. Cole to start the week? The beautiful loop you hear throughout this one is from the 1969 song, “My Cherie Amour”.

 

 

Let’s continue with the New York rap. Wu-tang up next. One of my favorite songs from Stevie, “Living for the City” is sampled by the Wu.

 

 

More from New York – but a different group: A Tribe Called Quest. New York loves some Stevie Wonder. The sampled is from “Sir Duke”.

 

 

From east coast to west coast. 2pac makes his Mixtape Monday debut, and gets the closer in this week’s edition. The Stevie song used is “Part Time Lover”

 

 

Enjoy your week all. Happy 53rd Stevie! Thanks for the great music, and the subsequent contributions to hip-hop.

 

 

j-cole-truly-yours-2

I’m a believer in J. Cole; always have been, always will be. Dude is real. Many people shared that sentiment until his album came out. Then came the notion that J. Cole was leaning towards the mainstream; trying to be Drake – something along those lines. But those lines don’t matter anymore because they have been erased. The best part: it only took six tracks to do so. That’s efficiency at its finest.

It’s not the next platinum record. It’s not going to top charts, but Truly Yours 2 is a mixtape that assures J. Cole fans that, at the core, he is the same person today as he was in The Come Up days: A genuine, honest rapper.

He didn’t flip the ‘haters’ off. Nor did he resort to Twitter to proclaim his dominance in hip-hop, or his ‘realness.’ He did what all hip-hop artists should do: He worked hard in the studio and created music – good music. J. Cole handled his doubters through his actions not his words (Coincidentally, the act of making music comes partially in the form of speaking. Interesting paradox there… Anyways…).

I don’t understand why anyone would dislike J. Cole as a hip-hop artist. To each his own, but what’s not to like? Cole is versatile. Rapping or producing, Cole has proven to thrive. He’ll even sing a hook if he finds it appropriate. He’s no Marvin Gaye, but his hooks are sufficient. His catalog runs deep, and Truly Yours 2 is a solid addition to the list.

J. Cole opens the EP with soulful samples. He handled half of the production on the EP. The first soulful loop came from the phenomenal Lauryn Hill, off her track “Nothing Even Matters”. And he weaves homage to her into his first verse when he raps,

 

“This sample was yellin’ “loop me!”, Ms. Hill please don’t sue me.”

 

And in the hook when he sings,

 

“I think I need to let it go/

‘Cause Nothing Even Matters.”

 

Also, what I love about this opening track is J. Cole quickly addresses comparisons to drake when he raps,

 

“Cause I ain’t one of these rappers out here frontin’ like he got it, n***a/

I ain’t f***in’ got it n***a/

Throwing thousands in the strip club with Drizzy/

Difference is I’m throwing four, he’s throwing fifty.”

 

His realistic mindset brings him down to earth. It’s refreshing to see someone who remains level headed, rather than jumping on the defensive in attempt to dispel critics. Cole knows he hasn’t reached Drake’s status, and his ability to admit it reveals his humble side. Overall, the song is stripped down to J. Cole speaking his mind. Nothing fancy, just some smooth bars, homages, and clever references over solid production.

 

 

Cole keeps the soul rolling with a sample of The Manhattans. Then he picks up the pace with a funky beat in the track “Chris Tucker”. He increases the aggression in his delivery on that track with a bragadocious tone.

Cole keeps a fast pace with the track “Head Bussa,” and proves that he is still an strong lyricist. He plays on an old expression:

 

“She told me, boy you want your cake and eat it too?

I said it’s cake, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

 

Wordplay and pop culture references? Check:

 

“They killed Saddam, now I wonder who’s sane/

How you balance being Batman, Bruce Wayne?”

 

 

It’s not too difficult to keep a listener engaged for six songs, but it still takes effort nonetheless. Cole did a good job of varying the pace. The soulful opening, upbeat middle tracks, and then slowing it back down a bit for “3 Wishes” keeps the listeners on their toes.

“3 Wishes” has a nice bass line running underneath the beat, with an occasional videogame sound effect trickling down over some looped keys. This is the only track where Cole did not handle production.

 

 

And just as you think the tempo will stay down, Cole brings it back up for the last song. He wraps up the mixtape with a track in which he co-produced, sang the hook on, and rapped on. J. Cole, A.K.A. Mr. Versatility, A.K.A. Yours Truly.

 

Jermaine Cole, known as rapper J.Cole has announced the release date [June 25th] of his new album is via Twitter.  The album, titled Born Sinner is the second studio album released by the 28 year-old rapper. He also has three mixtapes on his resume, and also some productions under his belt.

 

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 8.34.00 PM