Live: J. Cole Outlines His Game Plan For Cole World

jcole_chilling.jpg
J. Cole (album preview)
Roc The Mic Studios
Wednesday, August 17

Better than: Waiting until September 27.

Despite the stringent security measures implemented at the splashy preview of Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch The Throne earlier this month, a middling blogger managed to leak snippets of music and post them on his site. Not taking any chances, last night's preview for J. Cole's debut Cole World: The Sideline Story, out next month, had an airtight atmosphere. An intimate guest list that struck scenesters and those more interested in the open bar than the new tunes, confiscation of electronic devices, a total ban on quoting song titles or lyrics—it was clear that the people at Roc Nation, stewards of both Jay-Z and J. Cole, meant business.

A prolific mixtape artist who boasts a pleasant North Carolina drawl and a lyrical dexterity that at times recalls Jay, Cole's 2009 release Warm Up was lauded by critics and fanboys alike; he's also collaborated with the likes of Talib Kweli and Wale. The question has never been whether J. Cole is a talented rapper. Call it the mixtape rapper's dilemma: How will an official album stack up to the plethora of free music he disseminates?

The solid Cole World: The Sideline Story answers that with a "Remarkably well"; it's full of tales of youthful machismo and bootstrapping into a better life. The rapper balances run-of-the-mill braggadocio with vulnerable moments where he grapples with heartbreak and family trauma in an empathic way.

From behind his MacBook, Cole blared 17 tracks (including the singles "Work Out" and the Trey Songz-assisted "Can't Get Enough") and told the assembled that working with producer Danja, who likes his music loud, has caused him to go somewhat deaf. The album's refreshingly light on guest appearances, although one nostalgia-tinged cameo should get the blogs buzzing. But overall, the listener can focus on Cole's skilled delivery instead of keeping track of guest verses; this seems deliberate, since Cole said that the album tells the story of a young sideline-dweller finally getting a chance to test his mettle in a big game. With Jay-Z as his coach and Cole World as his game plan, Cole seems well-prepared to take over the quarterback role.

Critical bias: As J. Cole made his rounds, he recalled meeting me several years ago through his college roommate. Whether he actually remembered doing so is debatable, but the personal gesture, not to mention the sincerity behind those puppy-dog eyes, could certainly chip away at a critic's steely resolve.

Overheard: "Twitter has given irrelevant people a voice."

Random notebook dump: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently launched a program in which screeners will engage airline passengers in conversation as a means to predict suspicious behavior. Perhaps publicists could use this tactic when putting together guest lists down the line.

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15 comments
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Maura303
Maura303

The countownbegins! 9/27! For those of you who can't wait for the release, I just found aniTunes link where you can buy "Work Out" http://bit.ly/qWwLdx.Another cool thing Cole is doing is releasing tracks every Sunday night thateither didn't make his new album or that are being re-released. Very cool!!Check it out at his blog, http://bit.ly/okreUE.

 

Julie Chic
Julie Chic

I've been a fan of Cole's for a while now and I think the album will be well worth the wait on the 27th. I'm really interested in hearing who the final guests are going to be... I'd really recommend everybody checking out the material he's been putting out every Sunday over on his blog: http://bit.ly/okreUE

Bjisfresh
Bjisfresh

I heard eminem was a guest on a song called lessons learned. 

Ticketblast
Ticketblast

 Evanescence 2011 Fall Tour!!!

Evanescence, the Grammy Awards winning rock band will return to the stage with a US & Canada tour in October 2011. This will mark their return to stage with their first album in five years.

With only eight cities scheduled in North America, it will be a relatively short tour, mainly to support the upcoming release of the new Album titled “Evanescence“. In an interview to MTV.com, founder and lead singer Amy Lee described the album as “fun” and with contributions from the entire band. “It doesn’t sound like any Evanescence track you’ve heard before” she said. While the previous album “The Open Door” was all about Amy and her personal life, the upcoming album has the band’s trademark all over it.

Continue Reading…

Sydney Avante
Sydney Avante

who's hotter though? Cole or Kendrick right now?

Duets
Duets

J.Cole. Kendrick Lamar's voice is really hard to listen to when you are trying to kick back ad relax.

Kevin Corcoran Jr
Kevin Corcoran Jr

damn i wish i could have been at that preview. like you said, he puts out a ton of free music all the time (that are all sick as F***) and i can't even imagine what he has in store for what he held onto for the album. September 27th will be a great day in urban music history.

FindmeonSt.Nick
FindmeonSt.Nick

Dopeee. looking forward to J. Cole's album. Does JayZ guest?

Terrellleister
Terrellleister

yes i believe jay z said he was gonna return da favor from j.cole doin a star is born

Fiut
Fiut

 yes, it was confirmed that Jay-Z do guest.

Oompa
Oompa

It hasn't been confirmed because Jay-Z hasn't gave Cole his Verse so its still Unknown if he will even appear at all 

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