J Cole’s “Born Sinner” (2013): Only a year before J Cole released his album that went two times platinum with no features, Cole dropped this incredible album. I was very new to the rap genre when this album came out, so I did not fully appreciate it on its release like I did with “2014 Forest Hill Drive”. So after a few listens I have come up with my personal opinion on this album. Unpopular opinion alert: I personally like “Born Sinner” more than “2014 Forest Hills Drive”. Do not get me wrong, 2014 had incredible songs and the album fans compare Cole’s new work to. I believe Jermaine works a lot better with other artists. After only hearing Cole’s voice for a little over an hour with not much variety on 2014, it gets a little stale near the tail end of the album. With “Born Sinner”, Jermaine has the perfect amount of variety to keep the listener engaged. He has amazing features who give outstanding verses/choruses every two to four songs. The features aren’t the only reason why I truly love Born Sinner. Every song has beautifully crafted instrumentals, lyrics that demand your attention, and Cole’s delivery was nothing but great. I regret not giving “Born Sinner” a chance earlier in life, because this album will be on replay even after this review.
Top 4 Songs: Crooked Smile (feat. TLC), Power Trip (feat. Miguel), Forbidden Fruit (feat. Kendrick Lamar), LAnd of the Snakes