Wow. This album is a let down. And im the biggest J. Cole fan there is. Literally. But this doesn't fulfill my expectations at all. As many have mentioned already, the production is far too bland. The concepts, the hooks, melodies, the album as a whole has more songs that are boring than not. More songs that by this time next month you're gonna press skip. And the raps on the album are a bit overrated as well which is crazy, because people keep talking as if he is just all out flowing on every track and not saying the same thing, the same simple similes and metaphors at that. He does have his moments though on born sinner for sure which is to be expected cause Cole is definitely extremely talented with the pen. His raps are good, but that's it. Not great. His flows since 09 have come down every project. There was a time where dude would rap circles around people. Straight up. He's not that guy anymore imo. Which didn't have to be a bad thing because TBH I could care less how awesome you rap if your songs put me to sleep. And wanting your album to have a much more darker tone to it does not have to equate to a boring product. I think dude was rapping his best on the warm up, but FNL was my favorite due to the balance of great raps and hooks and melodies and attractive production. His first two albums both have far too many lines where you're like "Dude, you supposed to be that guy. That ill rappers rapper." You used to count on that with cole. He's had that wrong rep of being boring which until Born sinner wasn't accurate at all imo, but you could never say dude bars weren't top notch.
With that being said, Sideline Story is better than Born sinner. As someone mentioned for one it's extremely underrated by Cole and others imo. From Mr Nice Watch to Work Out, to Dollar and a Dream III, Can't get enough, Lights Please, in the Morning, Lost Ones, Nobody's Perfect, Breakdown, Nothing last forever, All these songs have more life to them more of a bounce to them than the records on Born Sinner. On sideline story dude discussed real societal issues, Love issues, Catchy songs, rap songs, He had it all tbh. He's got to find that balance on a consistent basis because he shows far too many sings of being able to do so. Especially with songs like power trip. That's one of the greatest singles of all time. That's just me though. Still, Born Sinner is a good album. She Knows, Rich N*ggaz, Let Nas Down, Power Trip, Crooked Smile, and Born Sinner are all really really great songs.
Cole wouldn't be getting the "this wasn't what I was expecting" reactions every time he drops if people would stop looking at cole as if he's the next coming of Pac or Biggie or something & I understand people expect that from him because of the warm up and fnl, time has proving he isn't that. He's more, good to very good rather than great to extraordinary or something we haven't seen before. At cole's best imo, he's more in the Drake lane, like a notch below, rather than the Kendrick Lamar or nas lane and it seems like he knows it and it bothers him a little. That's why he tried so hard on born sinner to do otherwise. He hasn't made a project this, for a lack of a better term, Gritty since the come up tbh. That should let you know that cole is at his best when he's giving you the power trips, the workouts and the lost ones, that versatility all on the same album rather than the villuminati's followed by LAnd of the snakes and trouble.
No. You wrote a long review and all of it is voided because you think that Cole's rapping abilities are in Drake's lane.