J Cole: Born Sinner

Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 00:00


Born Sinner

J Cole

Roc Nation

Hip-Hop & Rap

There are times when J Cole is a little too reverential for his good. You can hear it on Let Nas Down, as he bemoans the fact that the Illmatic slinger isn’t a fan; you can also hear it on asides about label boss Hov, Ye and Pac. But what you don’t really hear on the North Carolina rapper’s second album is the sound of Cole staking his own patch of ground with any sort of conviction. Born Sinner is at its best when Cole turns his attentions towards the power games of relationships, with the Miguel-assisted Power Trip working up a lot of steam and trauma. There are other moments, such as the soulful Crooked Smile and Forbidden Fuit (the latter with Kendrick Lamar on the hook), which work. But you get the strong sense that Cole is stll caught on the horns of a dilemma between who he really wants to be and the persona he thinks he should be. jcolemusic.com
Download: Power Trip, Crooked Smile