J. Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story

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The North Carolina upstart and high school basketball player laces his J's to share his come-up and show why he deserves a starting position.

A cosign from Jay-Z doesn’t mean what it used to. There have definitely been protégés worse off than J. Cole, but in Roc-A-Fella’s heyday, artists like Beanie Sigel and Freeway were dropping Gold and Platinum-certified albums straight out the gate (based on their own talent and the reputation of their team). Despite a trio of solid mixtapes, a few magazine covers, and showstealing guest appearances alongside the likes of Black Star and Jay, Cole has still spent much of the last few years since his Roc Nation signing on the sidelines, relative to other rap newcomers. With his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, the North Carolina upstart and high school basketball player laces his J’s to share his come-up and show why he deserves a starting position.

J. Cole finds his rhythm on Cole World when he gets personal or paints realistic scenarios. “Sideline Story” and “Dollar And A Dream III” wax poetic about his struggle for musical success, and he uses the stellar “Breakdown” to seamlessly lash out at his father, beg for his presence in his life, and recount his mother’s drug addiction all at once. “Never Told” reflects on the causes and effects of infidelity, and “Lost Ones” finds a young man and a mother-to-be arguing over the prospect of an abortion. Even bar-heavy sessions like “God’s Gift” and “Rise and Shine” maintain the emotiveness of his personal tales. With a triple threat of stirring imagery, a passionate delivery and a fearlessness of exposing himself, J. Cole provides a breath of fresh air when many newcomers focus more on assimilating with rap’s hit formula than telling their own story.

That doesn’t mean Cole World doesn’t have its accessible songs. Aside from the contrived, Kanye and Paula Abdul-sampled “Work Out,” J. Cole assembles a solid collection of radio-ready jams. “Can’t Get Enough” utilizes a staccato flow and a Trey Songz chorus for Cole to address his addiction to women, while “In The Morning” see him and Drake cooing women for early action. “Cole World” features an energetic (though formulaic) soundbed for his braggadocio, and a Missy Elliott hook fuels “Nobody’s Perfect.” Though these songs aren’t as rousing as his soul-bearing offerings, they still add necessary balance to the album.

The main fault of Cole World is its beat selection. J. Cole solely produced 15 of the disc’s 18 tracks, and played or co-produced another. He proves himself a capable beatmaker with songs like “Breakdown,” and handling so many duties admirably gives the album an extra sense of authenticity. Still, Cole would have benefitted by cashing in his Roc Nation clout for contributions from some heavyweights. With the notable dubstep influence of the Jay-Z-assisted “Mr. Nice Watch” as an exception, many of Cole’s beats sound too similar to each other and don’t match the conviction of his rhymes. And despite the songs still being good, some fans may also dislike the inclusion of songs from Cole’s last mixtapes as anything but bonus tracks at the end.

J. Cole’s debut album has flaws just as others’ rookie seasons did, but Cole World: Sideline Story definitely proves that he deserves a prominent spot on the team. With the skill to match his heart, he’ll be dominating games in no time.

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  • Anonymous

    I love j.cole a million

  • On the real....

    Replace Mr. Nice Watch with Cost Me A Lot....replace Cole World with Higher....replace In The Morning with Before I'm Gone.....and add Return of Simba, 2Face to the album and it would be a 5 out of 5 A+

  • MusicFan

    5/5 great debut by a great rapper

  • Suave

    No one is one his planet , sorry K.Dot fans

  • Real_Neggaz_Come_First

    This negga is real.

  • je

    Really, really good. Too bad that you have already listened to the best tracks on him mixtapes but still 5/5 for the lyrics and beats are tight as fuck

  • Santo.M

    Man fuck this nigga, damn this album is dope and it even made me to put him in my top 3 and that is in the first Number and that is number 1. Cole World

  • Anthony

    Definitely lived up to the hype

  • olczi

    surprisingly good one

  • Anonymous

    yall call him boring because hes not a sell out like the rappers you like, even though he makes songs like "work out" and "cant get enough", cole stays true to his style, and thats why his fans from day 1 are still here. you guys wouldnt know good music if it slapped you in the face.

  • Zaira Garcia

    J. Cole is a true artist.

  • Anonymous


  • gl

    kind of a sleeper but tracks like little girl, lights please, and lost ones keep me interested

  • Anonymous

    hey j.cole broe keep pumping em good music i love eachand everysong in ur cd..much luv oww n ur voice is too damn sexy(@@,)

  • Anonymous

    J. Cole is the best of all so called upcoming rap artists, way better than tyga and big sean. He ain't no fake lil' wayne fag artist or look at me i got swagger artist like drake.. If pac or big would be alive, lil wayne would have still been working at Mac Donalds. Overall Cole world best album of the past year.

  • King

    Album was underrated in this review, It wasn't the classic alot of fans wanted, and in my opinion, condensing the album might have made it a classic. The tracks that annoyed me were Lights Please and In The Morning, simply because of their mixtape heritage not earning any re-play time along with the rest of the album. Lights please is a classic, but I listen to it alongside the other Warm Up tracks. Other than that it was just Mr. Nice Watch that didn't fit. I expected more from the Jigga feature. The rest of the album was flawless with Highlights being God's Gift, Lost ones and Nobody's Perfect. Return of Simba might have been perfect in replace of Mr. Nice Watch (bonus that if you must). Overall I gave this album a 4.3/5, if the changes I suggested were made, It'd be arguably perfect but more accurately probably a 4.8/5 14-track 3-bonus LP

  • Real Talk 100

    Album of the year, review is crazy wrong. God's Gift my favorite track of the year.

  • Alonzo Fuqua

    Im sorry guys but J Cole is too basic for me he doesnt have any flare. He doesnt bring anything extra he just raps and its really boring like he needs to get some vocabulary and plus he has no wordplay like Lupe or Kendrick Lamar

    • anon

      you must be a Lil B, Lil Wayne, Tyga fan if you think Lupe Kenrick and Cole has now wordplay... and vocabulary??? Tyga's the one with the 4th grade vocabulary with Wayne spitting some nonsense

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    just a preview of what is to come!!!

  • sunshine

    J. Cole's mixtapes were both great with consistent bangers! I'm going to buy the album today after work. Cole is definatly under-rated. People stop comparring Drake and Cole they are two different types of artists. Drake talks about always falling in love with strippers/hoes Cole fucks groupies but aint hangcuffin' - they aint on the same mindset. Cole World - nuff said.

  • Kim Le

    ALBUM OF THE YEAR, plain and simple.

  • Anonymous

    Top 3 of the year.... Cole World

  • Anonymous

    J. cole is a beast and has been underrated for years...while everyone else is using each others flows (drake , big sean, diggy simmons ) J has made his own style and kills it...the album is refreshing and really makes you think about wordplay more than hooks which is something hip hop has been missing...Jay Z knew what he was doing in signing him...guarantee this dude outlives alot of these new rappers...Cole World all day...p.s. Got love for drake too but he's getting way to big headed...come back down to earth lol...

  • jg

    this was the most average album i have ever heard in my life. 4 of the beats sound the same. No replay value except for Nothing Lasts Forever. try again Cole

  • Yella

    Best Album Ive heard in a while

  • Anonymous

    this album is way better than take care, just saying HHDX

  • KooLHouZe

    Great Album, soul warming, gritty, smart, heart felt and true to the music that we heard on his mixtapes.

  • abdul

    loved it album of the year to me

  • Quill

    People say J. cole sucks but if u look at all of his videos on youtube people always bring up Tupac and other hip hop greats... SHid looks like to me that he's doing something..!!!

  • Quill

    People say J. cole sucks but if u look at all of his videos on youtube people always bring up Tupac and other hip hop greats... SHid looks like to me that he's doing something..

  • Tracy

    Solid album. Lyrics were super delicious

  • Tony montanna

    good album I'm just saying it's only his first album and I bet the second one will alot better it'll be classic cause he will actually have features on the next album like Alicia keys

  • Jordan MrWest Melendez

    Who ever wrote this article is obviously not a die hard J.Cole fan. J.Cole has made it where he is by doing what he has been doing since the get go: raping over his own beats. Why should he stop now? #coleworld

  • Marco Soares

    J Cole has released a debut album which is all about great beats and brilliant wordplay. Although he is not the saviour the hypebeasts seem think he is, J Cole shows great potential to be the best of this new generation of rappers. Marco

  • Tilt

    Did a remix to the song "God's Gift", check it out if you want, thanks. http://soundcloud.com/tiltmusic/gods-gift-remix

  • Marcus White

    Cole is real on this album with a deep story to tell on each track. Reminds me a lot of Nas "It Was Written"

  • kris

    best album of the century..nuff said!

  • ken




  • Anonymous

    Very solid album from the next great rapper to enter the industry. Give him time, and J. Cole will take over where inferior rappers (Lil Wayne, Game) left off.

  • Eli Abdallah

    j cole is the next 2pac

  • Anonymous

    this gud ablum watch the throne den this den cater 4 cuz a least his songs make sense carter 4 he tlks about the same shitt startin get old watch the throne was new finally sumone use dupstep

  • Anonymous

    this nice ablum fuq the review

  • Adrian

    I wonder who Brian dickrides.............

  • Bj Coln

    Absolutely disagree wit this review-what makes this album so much better than ALL the other shit out is the personal joints PAIRED with the more introspective production as opposed to the over-produced cookie cutter"auto-hits" that everybody else leans on-4.75 stars

  • Brian

    nothin' but dickriders...straight up...this album was boring as fuck...this album should have been called "Sleeping Pill: Wake Me Up When It's Over".

    • Adrian

      Brian doesn't know music. I wonder what he was expecting on this album. This is J.Cole on all of his mixtapes.......

  • Anonymous

    Best debut since Food & Liquor.

  • P Tha Youngin'

    Good album, been bumping it for a while. I must say im a little disapointed in it thouhg, his mixtapes definetly gassed me up to think the album would be a classic. I dont like how Lights please and Lost ones have pretty much the same vibe. At then end of the day, i rate this 3.5

  • Trey J. J. Brown

    Damn, I meant my first rating to be for Phonte's album. This, J Cole's album, is ok, but even better when I mix the non-radio friendly songs with some of my favorites on his mixtapes. His mixtapes are twice as good as this.

  • Trey J. J. Brown

    love this album.

  • FeFiFoFum

    Really wasn't as good as it should/could have been. But the Cole virgins think it's a classic soooooo....

  • Dame

    Didn't have to skip one track.

  • Chika69

    Im fellin the Work Out Rmx better

  • Drake

    Rihanna, $REAL? Aiight Cole. This nicca is Aiight but I make better beats. I make beats using DUBTurbo. They have every sound, chord, key, drum pattern, pitch, tone you can think of..literally check it out here(copy & paste link)--->HERES THE CORRECT LINK http://dubturbo.com/go.php?offer=idvision1&u=http://www.dubturbo.com/index_29.php

  • Chad Bernard

    It is a solid album 3.5/5 but this no classic. I am a fan and no hater but a 5/5 means that it can't no better and he still has room to grow the production could have been better. Its a very good first effort don't get wrong, but no where near classic/ 5/5 rating IMO.

  • Mohammed

    4.5 maybe a 4.7 to be specific. This and Section. 80 and Return 4 Eva are the best albums of 2011

  • Zack Souza

    dope as fuck a long way from The Come Up but still a real drive old school flow new and fresh beats

  • Aidan Isik

    The best debut record to come out in the past 5 years and definitely the best after carter 3 and my beautiful dark twisted fantasy. CLASSIC and EPIC are too words which are not even good enough to describe this album. The best... hands down.

  • jay

    classic dont even neeed to skip a song u can go straight thru

  • AM33

    Overall 4.5/5 Not going to track by track on this, but after reading this review and listening to this album, seemed to be some bias in the reviewer. Lyrically he is solid, think the general consensus is he is much better than the standard we have been hearing. I agree with the reviewer that the beats are suspect at times, but to knock him 1.5 stars? I could live with a 4/5, but 3.5 seems a little harsh.

  • Anonymous

    He's really good, but Joey >>> him on every single level of rapping.

  • Jay Gonzalez Rojas

    this album deserves a 5/5... i havent heard a album like this in a good while...

  • Caleb C. Kemp

    I listen to this album every day! I love it. Can't wait until another one comes out

  • AvidJcolefan

    I enjoy this CD alot. One of the biggest questions surrounding his debut was could he switch up the routine- and I believe he did. From an artistic pov, he had to have used at least 6 different deliveries (aka flows or styles) within one album. "So when you spit it so REAL, suddenly these phony dudes lose they APPEAL," I give it 4/5 for personal reasons- mainly because of older songs and recycled subject matter. But if you interested in another upcoming MC, check out this dude by the name of Prosperous! I don't wanna spoil it for you, but start with his songs "Black Dream" or "The State of Hip Hop" and work from there. :D This guy is very creative.

    • Jimmertime23

      yea. i googled prosperous. but you gotta search em on youtube to get his music. he's actually pretty good :) I signed up for his 1st album release in the future.

  • Cameron

    all i see is haters. Im happy to see a good artist selling granted albums were better this year but j. cole did it with little features and 70 % of his on material and still made it for number on top 200 over country singers damn it boy!. debut album. i guarentee cole will become a platnium artist because at the end of the day numbers matters and some of the greats have platnium records to show for a great career in rap community. album 4/5. so tired of punch line flow so simple! Coleworld

  • Anonymous


  • sansy44

    I love this album... 4/5

  • Oliveira311

    Can't say anything is groundbreaking here - but I can't stop listening. Love when talented musicians can create on their own work and deliver from start to finish. I think people need to give him a lot of credit for being a true musician. Even if you're not really feelin' it. Great job Cole.

  • kendrick

    real.......breakdown, lost ones, never told, gods gift, rise and shine, sideline story, dollar and a dream, nobodys perfect, and lights please makes the album a CLASSIC.........

    • Mohammed

      Bruh you said HiiPower was his best still after hearing this album. Well the beats to Rise & Shine, God's Gift and Breakdown>>the beat on HiiiPower. Get at me if you disagree. HiiPower is still one of his best but he really has better beats than that song to be honest

    • Speak Da Truth

      ...and the other half is bullshit garbage. Come on son, this nigga is singing paula abdul and shit, wtf? When half the tracks are skippable it's far from classic, I'm sorry but you clearly haven't got a clue how to identify a classic album. Only the test of time can deem an album classic anyways. Kendrick my boy, your opinion is clouded. Cole's best beat to date isn't even on his own joint, HiiPower on K Dot's album is easily the best Cole made beat that I've heard, and that's a deep track as well, but Cole ain't on it. The Temptation beat sounds dope too, at least he's gonna be on that track. Cole World, I give it 1 thumb up, 1 thumb down.

  • Anonymous

    I didn't like this compared to the material I heard from him when he came out...it sounds like some songs dont match the beats or the beats could have been better for some of the songs...Lyrically he was still good...Altogether I give this album a 3 out of 5...Average

  • mr tibbs

    It was aaaaiiiight. Its nothing ground breaking or original and he didn't say anything that he already didn't say. Not bad, but no big deal. Now Kendrick Lamar that nigga shit is off the meat!!! He is my measuring stick for new artist and J. Cole isn't even in the ballpark with my mans. Thats not hating, its the fucking truth. One.

  • Jeremiah

    I think this should be a lesson for all of the artists out there: don't waste all of your A-material on mixtapes. Almost every single track off of his mixtape was a banger...where the studio album was the exact opposite...no bangers...just average. Such a huge disappointment after such promise.

  • Karlitos aka Che

    one of my favourite albums of 2011 without a shadow of a doubt. i cant comprehend why people are hating? sonically, this album had hardly any unskippable tracks....i think that j cole probably wanted to focus on making the best songs he could, as opposed to ones which featured too many themes or concepts....which is cool, cos it still goes hard! 4.5/5

  • Anonymous

    I'm happy for this dude and his success, but damn, he gives average a whole new meaning. Nothing about his abilites is special or hypeworthy. You see what a co-sign from Jay can do.

  • just another kid

    theres a plan behind everything be patient coles workin on somthing serious..just wait and see.

  • Kyle roberson

    Speechless album !

  • Nuno Andrade

    dope beats but wack lyrically..............

    • Joee

      I actually thought its the other way around lol he killed it on dolla and a dream, sideline story, lost ones, rise n shine and god's gift so i thought his lyrics were dope....i thought most of the beats were ehhhh minus god's gift, rise n shine and the missy joint

  • jay

    yall str8 disrespected Cole rite here how is it a 3.5 when this is hands down the best album to date this year??? at the very least 4.75 just becuz he has mixtape songs on it which btw is still dope!.....Cmon HipHopDX get ya shit together!..this site is def turnin into the source when benzino was running the shit!

  • Ajan

    I forgot about A Sucker for Pumps. That goes at 5 since Rock Creek Park is an instrumental album.

  • Ajan

    My Albums of the Year: 1. Section 80 2. Charity Starts At Home 3. W.A.R. 4. Return of 4Eva 5. Rock Creek Park

  • Ajan

    Wale 2.0. When you come out with near perfect mixtapes, expectations are through the roof, making even a solid effort look bummy. I am a fan of J. Cole and want to see dude succeed, but if the nigga doesn't come up with some new subject matter soon he gone be old news quickly. We heard your come-up story on the first two mixtapes nigga.

  • Kotza

    When someone released 2 banging mixtapes as Cole did, the expectations for his album is gunna be super high... and i don't think he delivered. I used to share all his good stuff on facebook trying to get the man the credit he deserved, and as a dedicated fan i was pretty disappointed. It's not that it's a bad album, cos its not, its just that it isnt as good as what i had expected

    • Anonymous


    • Dayshawn

      Well hey man i'm sorry to say this to you but something must be very wrong wit you if you don't think he delivered dude wake the fuck up j cole has sold 218,000 copies his first week and debuted at number 1 the label didnt even expect him to sale over 100,000 his first week, and on top of that he has one of the highest debut sales since drake, nicki, and b.o.b i know that 218,000 copies sold your first week may not seem like alot to a rap artist especially compared to the big leagues like kanye, jayz, lil wayne, and drake but if you look at other recent new rap artist debut sales like big sean 87,000 first week and waka flocka 37,000 first week they werent even able to sale 100,000 copies their first week now that's disapointing matter fact no rap artist album this year other than wayne's carter 4, jayz/kanye's watch the throne collabo, beyonces album, wiz khalifa's rolling papers, and now j cole's the sideline story, besides them no other rap album has sold 100,000 copies in the first week let alone over 100,000 copies, and i'm also a fan of waka flocka, and big sean's music to i'm just saying j cole has sold over 3 to 4 times what waka, and big sean sold their debuts, on top of that j cole didn't really have radio play for his singles, he didn't have the hype or buzz he was kind of underrated at the time not being promoted and all, but produced most of the tracks on his album, payed some pay dues, built up his fan base worked hard and still came in at number 1 on the billboard charts with well over 200,000 copies sold in first week sales i don't know about all yall but that seems pretty remakable to me for a beginning young newcomer when you look at all the factors i have talked about in comment here yall just need to give j cole the credit he desevres and stop doubting him, and hating on him cause he has worked his ass off the past 2 years now with very little help from jay-z and payed some dues as well to get to this point and that's what you must do in this rap game to make it built yourself up become better, fix your flaws, and just believe in yourself, even jay-z himself and beyonce congratuated j cole on having the number 1 album, in the country last week see i don't think yall realize that j cole has so much potential dont get me wrong he still has alot to learn, he probably even know that but he has so many things going for him right now he really delivered on his album as promised i just wish yall would acknowledge that and accept it but everyone has their opinion im just tell yall the truth facts cause i did my research and wanted yall to see the bigger picture about how well j cole has done and where he stands now among other artist in the game i don't mean to write a entire book here either im just gettin my point across to yall, it's up to yall whether you want to believe it or not just look it up for yourselves and besides j cole is already prepping for his second album which he hopes to have ready in like nine months from now or so next year j cole's on a roll man some of yall just don't know it's a cole world out there dress warm haters lol its only going to get coler now that j cole has Blowin up

  • Odell 'Otrocity' Payne

    This album was dope but I still think Friday Night Lights bangs harder! My opinion. Don't care what y'all say. Cole World

  • NIce

    Best projects of 2011 1. Evidence - Cats and Dogs 2. J-Live - S.P.T.A 3. Saigon - Greatest story Never Told 4. Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R. 5. Random Axe 6. Rasheed Chappell - Future Before Nostalgia 7. Reks - R.E.K.S. 8. Kendrick Lamar-Section 80 9. Elzhi - Elmatic 10. Curren$y - Covert Coup 11. Big Krit- Return of 4eva 12. J cole - COle world

    • hod_guy

      1.Saigon- Greatest Story Never Told 2.Phonte- Charity Starts At Home 3.Pharoah Monche- W.A.R. 4.J.Cole- Cole World: Sideline Story 5.Jay-Z/Kanye- Watch the Throne 6.Skyzoo- The Great Debators 7.The Game- The R.E.D. Album 8.Kendrick Lamar- Section .80 9.Blu-Her Favorite Col(u)r 10.9th Wonder- The Wonder Years 11.The Cool Kids- When Fish Ride Bicycles 12.Reks- Rythmatic Eternal King Supreme 13.Reakwon- Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang 14.Median- The Sender 15.Tyler, the Creator- Goblin 16.Talib Kweli- Gutter Rainbows 17.Evidence- Cats and Dogs 18.Big Sean- Finally Famous 19.Lil Wayne- The Carter IV 20.Murs & Ski Beatz- Love & Rockets 1 21.Style P- Master of Ceremonies 22.Bad Meets Evil- Hell: The Sequal 23.Joel Ortiz- Free Agent 24.Freeway/Statik Selektah- StaticFree 25.Roc Marciano- Greneberg 26.Lupe Fiasco- Lasers 27.Royce 5'9"- Success is Certain 28.Slaughterhouse- Slaughterhouse EP 29.Jay Rock- Follow Me Home 30.Random Axe- Random Axe

    • Donnie Wesley

      I say that list is flawed, but, nonetheless a good crop of albums...

    • NIce

      Oops forgot phonte...idk what to replace it with lol fuck it

  • VividSci

    Album was certified dope, but one of the best of the year?? I dont know about that...

  • Anonymous

    Such a great album. I can't wait for the next one, I'm sure it will be even better.

  • lol qq

    fuckin awesome album

  • Anthony Thompson

    Cole World. I actually purchased the album. Well worth it. Not a 5 but at leaste a 4.25. I did not like nice watch.

  • Andile

    The dopest album this year. Cole kept true to his word. I have the album and i'm loving all the tracks, especially sideline story, nothing lasts forever,rise and shine, lost ones, in the morning, lights please,never told, and breakdown

  • Azida

    I bought coles album but i thought his mixtapes were much better. production was ok. most beats sounded the same almost. his realness that i used to lyk so much seemed to have kinda disappeared on this album except for on never told, rise and shine, gods gift and breakdown. i lyk the second half of his album more. nevertheless i rekon this is the best album of the year

  • chris

    only a 3.5? get the fuck outta here, best album of the year!

  • r3dsox

    Best Album out right now!!

  • chris

    yo who the fuck would put cole world on a year's best list. shit was mediocre at best. smh at you stan ass motherfuckers. y'all hear this shit through filtered ears.

  • Andrew SwaggaRight Braddy

    Album of tha year!!

  • Anonymous

    and Onebelo & Vakil couldn't hold a torch to Phonte & Median let alone Jigga........

    • Anonymous

      ^Vakil sounds like a better version of reks, I'll give him that but u need to get ya teeth marks off him sack. His lyrics are great but his flow is not the best & he often just can't craft a song he'll be 4ever stuck in the underground. Phonte & Median are better story tellers with subtle complex flows that vary. Their worldplay is on par with Vakil but they're clearly the better mc's or artist however u wanna slice it & dice it. They Craft better songs & albums, which is why they'll always get the critical claim they get.

    • Anonymous

      What the FUCK are you talking about? Stop talking out of your ass and get a fucking reality check, you fool. I, for one, KNOW the rappers you are talking about. Some words from a guy who actually STUDIED rappers. Are you serious about comparing these rappers? Since when are Phonte and Median recognized as spitters? LOL. I can't believe that this is even a discussion. What have you heard from Vakill and OneBeLo? Especially Vakill is one of THE most skilled rappers to EVER tocuh a mic, he has more mulit-syllabic rhymes and better wordplay than Eminem. Did you hear the flames he spit on The Darkest Cloud? I guess not. I haven't come across a rapper who is more technically gifted than Vakill, this guy is a straight monster. The track ''Darkest Cloud'' SHITS on most albums out there. Every single site out there acknowledges Vakill as one of the greatest lyricists out there, many believe him to be even better than Lupe. e heard many punchline rappers, NOBODY comes close to this lyrical dexterity and his rhyme scheme is up there with Eminem's. Elzhi always has these double rhymes, but Vakill just crushes everything, this dude's rhymes are unmatched in terms of complexity, he's a force not to be fucked with on the mic. But that isn't all, aside from his incredible battle tracks, he's such an amazing and vivid storyteller with incredible detailed scriptures of the street life and he never dropped a whack track, his three albums are consistent as fuck and underground classics up there with Madvillainy. The Darkest Cloud (The Creed, Til' The World Blows Up, Dear Life, American Gothic, Fallen (tell me that ain't one of the best concepts ever, Cry You A River, Sweetest Way To Die, The Flyer.) Worst Fears Confirmed (Cold War (The N.Y. State Of Mind of Chicago, When Was The Last Time, Serpent And The Rainbow, Farewell To The Game, Man Into Monster and the most amazing track, Acts of Vengeance, this is up there with Nas' betrayal tales of It Was Written), where perfected his already amazing skills to his newest one Armor Of God (Sick Cinema, Endless Road, The Apology (again, these crazy concepts, Beast Ballad (where he proved that he easily can hang with some of rap's best lyricists., I Came 4 U, A Lynched Legacy and Bi-Polar). It's unbelievable HOW overlooked this dude is, especially in these days and times where everybody is waiting to hear those crazy lyrical dudes. He's up there with the best ever. He got it all when it comes to rap skills and can hold an album down on his own at an incredible level. "I'm Fantastic Four with the flow, I Rock Fire shit, Unseen by any Stretch of your imagination". This is just untouchable, he might even be nicer than Jay with the lines. Mean Mug Muzik? This dude is unfuckwithable. Plus, he picks one of the nicest beats out there. This dude is, by far, the underground king. Please, you CAN'T be THAT dumb. One Be Lo, from his work with Senim Silla as Binary Star, ''Project F.E.T.U.S. (For Everybody That Understands)'', ''S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. (Sounds Of Nahshid Originate Good Rhymes And Music)'', ''S.T.I.L.L.B.O.R.N. (Something To Interest Lo Listeners Beyond Original Recorded Networkings; or Subterraneous/Trackezoids Invest Lost Lyrics Bringing Old Rhymes New)'', ''The R.E.B.I.R.T.H. (Real Emcees Bring Intelligent Rhymes To Hip Hop)'', ''L.A.B.O.R. (Language Arts Based On Reality)'' to ''B.A.B.Y. (Being A Black Youth)''. The titles ALONE are better than EVERYTHING Phonte or that non-skilled weedcarrier Median have done this decade. LISTEN TO SOME OF THEIR MUSIC INSTEAD OF TALKING OUT OF YOUR ASS, YOU UNINFORMED FAGGOT! Vakill crafts more rhymes and double-entendres into one song than Median has on his whole album. OneBeLo writes waaay more beautiful poems than Phonte did in his prime. Get the FUCK outta here. LOL. http://www.epinions.com/review/The_Darkest_Cloud_-_Vakill/content_128972000900 http://www.epinions.com/review/The_Darkest_Cloud_-_Vakill/content_141339627140 http://www.epinions.com/review/The_Darkest_Cloud_-_Vakill/content_121897848452 Read the reviews to ''Armor Of God'' and ''L.A.B.O.R.'' and kill yourself afterwards.

    • Anonymous

      ^guess u don't know rap then if u think this, This is coming from a Native tongue head to the fullest. krs-one & Rakim are among my all-time favorites but onebelo & vakil aren't better rappers/MC's than Median or Phonte, they don't have the skill sets. Median Relief's is one of the top 20 albums of the last decade, and one of the best debuts of all time. As for Phonte well the track record speaks for itself, Little brother has surpassed the like of EPMD & Jungle Brothers as all-time greatest groups.

    • Anonymous

      LMAO. They're worlds above the other two soft ass, half singing guys rapping over played out and non-creative 9th Wonder beats with one-syllabic rhymes. Fuck it, they're above everyone stepping to a mic in 2011. Vakill and OneBeLo have far better wordplay, concepts, flows, rhymes, punchlines, metaphors, double-entendres and waaaay more original beats. They're 20 times the rappers Phonte and Median (LOL, I can't get over this) put together are.

  • z-ro METH


    • N/A

      Go somewhere w/ those no career haven ass rappers. #ColeWorld VaKill looks and sounds fucking retarded. Theres rhythm involved in rhyming he clearly does not have. Great lyricist but terrible rapper.

  • Nuri Saadullah

    best album of the year. Cole world

  • Anonymous

    Best albums 1. Saigon- Greatest Story Never Told 2. Phonte- Charity Starts at home 3. Pharoah Monche- W.A.R. 4. J. Cole- Cole World 5. Jay-Z/Kanye- Watch The Throne 6. Skyzoo- The Great Debators 7. The Game- The Red Album 8. Kendrick Lamar- Section .80 9. Blu- Her Favorite Col(u)r 10.9th Wonder- The Wonder Years 11.The Cool Kids- When Fish Ride Bicycles 12.Reks- Rthymatic Eternal King Supreme 13.Raekwon- Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang 14.Median- The Sender 15.Tyler The Creator- Goblin

    • hod_guy

      Random ax @ #1 lol, leave the rocks at home! Black Milk is losing his touch, Guilty Simpson is boring as hell, and sean price is the best thing on here but he catering too much to Guilty & Black instead of being fimself. Any List dat doesn't acknowledge Phonte or Saigon is a joke. Atmosphere lol

    • KZ

      Lol @ that list here is mine: 1. Random Axe - Random Axe 2. Elzhi - Elmatic 3. Atmosphere - The Family Sign 4. Evidence - Cats & Dogs 5. Vakill - Armor of God 6. Long Arm - The Branches 7. J. Cole - Cole World 8. Hassaan Mackey & Ap Brown - Daily Bread 9. Sims - Bad Time Zoo 10. OneBeLo - LABOR 11. Cunninlynguists - Oneirology 12. 40 Winks - Its the Trip 13. Trace Blam & Soulchef - Bottles 14. Neek & Large Pro - Still on the Hustle 15. Pharoahe Monch - W.A.R.

    • Anonymous

      I think em & royce(but espeacially em) are wash up and they made an entire album with no subject matter or punchlines. Thats a fail

    • Anonymous

      Good list, but ''Armor Of God'' by Vakill, ''Elmatic'' by Elzhi and ''L.A.B.O.R. (Language Arts Based On Reality)'' by OneBeLo shit on all of them lyrically. You also forgot ''Hell: The Sequel''.

  • hod_guy

    still can't believe Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun put out that shitty monumental album and it was rated a 4 and this was rated a 3.5, shyt still doesn't make sense too me

  • Anonymous

    this is the best album I heard so far. Not quite a classic but based on the stuff thats out. Its pretty close 4.5.

  • Powerphi

    In my view, this is not a classic album, but it is a very good album nonetheless. 4.50/5.

  • Anonymous

    ''Music is just what feelings sound like'' - Joe Budden. J. Cole accomplished that in such a masterful way. This is a future classic.

  • Mu

    This album proves how important production, content and songwriting is. While J Cole is clearly one of the most talented lyricists in the game, he has not yet mastered the art of making a GREAT song. There are no wack verses on this album, but it does not have a whole lot of replay value for me because the songs don't stand out and stay in my head. Good debut, but he's got a lot of work to do if he wants to stay around for a while...

  • covertgryn

    perfect...just perfect especially 'farewell'.....some gud gud. 4.0 stars

  • Nico 3

    The production was pretty good, with the only problem being his topics were sometimes tiresome - 3.5 stars

  • Donnie Wesley

    First-off, I give this album a 3.5 for its sustenance!!! Second, J-Cole impressed me with his lyrical-content!!! Production was decent, but, can definitely have room for improvement!!!

  • brandon

    this album deserves a 4 not a 3.5, anyway HHDX is out on this one again.. no hate

  • WOW


  • Tremayne Brooks

    Definitely deserves a 4.3/5, yeah there were some corny lines in there but hey if you are a J. Cole fan you know what to expect. Now i see J. Cole to be a great rapper because he actually raps about stuff other than money, hoes, and clothes all the time. Yeah he still raps about those things but not in every song. He has tons of stories he tells and man when i listen to "Breakdown" i can feel and relate to that shit because i went through some of that shit. Niggas can relate to the shit Cole Spits. Niggas cant relate to the shit Wayne n dem spit because all of us ain't "Balin' or got 3 million dollar cars. Nigga da rent due and we late! There is nothing wrong with boasting a little but try and do something different in your rhymes like J. Cole does. Probably the song i see myself kipping a lot is "Never Told" not because its a bad song(which it's not) it's because i cant wait to hear "Rise and Shine" and "God's Gift" Album is Dope Deserves a 4.3/5. I know cole is gonna come out with more dopper shit than this so i aint worried about the haters. Also and yes, to me this album is better than THA CARTER IV. Thank you and have a nice day.... #ColeWorld Follow me @Retweetmishit

    • Anonymous

      ^donnie u sound dumb

    • Donnie Wesley

      While I agree with your first few sentences...I will say that 1-rating is an album that sucks, a 2-rating is an album that sucks, but, has potential, a 3-rating is an album that's good, but, nowhere near great, a 4-rating album is close to being a classic album, and a 5-rating is a classic-without a doubt!!! J-cole's rating was a 3 to 3.5, because, of J-Cole's lyrical ability and some of the production...However, far from a 4-rating due to it's lack there-of...

  • Simaneka Sims Afunde

    awesome album

  • Prophet

    I think DX got this wrong. It's a very good album! Deserves a better rating for it actually being an "album". Great body of work from J, though he could have taken more chances like he did on his mixtape as far as his productions goes, but it's real solid and showcases a dope MC!

  • KingDhee

    Best CD all year hands down!!! We are witnessing the next great rapper here...Cole in my opinion if he doesn't become full of himself like Wayne and Jay can eventually be the greatest MC ever!!!

    • Anonymous

      LOL, he's good and shows the potential to be great, but best ever? LMAO, that you said something like this, after an album that's far from being a classic, is unbelievale.

    • Donnie Wesley

      Yeah...He has the ability, but, he has a classmate that it can be argued is neck-to-neck with him w/ a slight edge, due, to his crooning ability. And, the greatest talks shouldn't even be thought about at this time!!!

  • Boog

    best album all year thus far

    • Anonymous

      Reks - R.E.K.S. Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told Vakill - Armor Of God Elzhi - Elmatic Kendrick Lamar - Section.80 Skyzoo - The Great Debater Bad Meets Evil - Hell: The Sequel all say ''hello''. But Cole World is also great and up there for the best album of the year. 2011 has been the dopest year in a long ass time for Hip Hop.

    • Anonymous

      your crazy if you think WTT is better then this. The production alone is better then WTT and that's sad. I'm not even going to mention the poor lyrics on that LP. And how can you say that someone doesn't have a taste in music because they don't share the same opinion about 1 album..? smh

    • neeli

      If you think this is better than Watch The Throne you have zero taste in music- I'd hope this album was going to be better! Sounds like J.Cole was depressed while recording this- its so mediocre

  • Manuel Brown

    4/5 hip hop album of the year. What love about this album is the authentic feel it had. I didn't like the fact lights pleasewas on the album, love that song but its over 2 years old.

    • Donnie Wesley

      Couldn't agree more!!! Album did have an authentic appeal!!! However, this album also left a lot to be desired and that's why I gave it a 3-rating!!!

  • Ramon Martinez

    A solid 4....only real wack tracks were never told and mr nice watch...also that song cole world's hook was CORNY but it was a good song otherwise....what i woulda done if i was cole was take out mr nice watch, put jay on god's gift, take out in the morning and put in cheer up, and replace never told with daddy's little girl...and to make it perfect replace cole world wit return of simba lol

  • Site gives viruses

    everytime I'm on here norton blocks a virus -.-.

  • TheHiphopsaviors

    shit is raw nuff said

  • Chris Hernandez

    I have been waiting for this album for years and although several of the tracks were good a few were horrible..

  • Jimenez

    J. Cole is Truely a hero for this desperately needed hip-hop game that's flooded/infected with these horrible so called rappers.

  • Matt Sullivan

    I'm giving this 3 stars. It didnt live up to the hype. I hope he gets better beats next time and writes better hooks....most of his hooks are wack. Other than that he's a good rapper.

  • Joe

    I'm Telling yall....check Out J-Live- S.p.t.a. best album of sept 27th and prob album of the year

  • Darius Huggins

    3.5 Solid album, I do agree with the score of the review because I honestly expected something more or maybe different. It had the same feel as Friday Night Lights (not a bad thing @ all btw) but if that mixtape never came out, I probably would of rated it even higher. This guy is a breath of fresh air from all the over saturated mediocrity hip-pop you normally hear. Rise & Shine (shout out to the underground duo) send chills down my spine. Excellent Debut and best of luck to this talented young man reppin my family home state NC.

  • POPO

    Im not saying this is better than College Dropout....but cole is definitely lyrically better than kanye on his debut that kanye was....thats all ima say....4/5.....4.2/5 for college dropout lol

    • Jg

      he may have a better flow, but lyrics? Your dumb College Dropout changed the game forever...Cole World will be forgotten in 3 months

  • The Truth

    Best solo Album I heard this year, what makes it so impressive is that he did over 90% of the production and doesnt have a bunch of guest appearances, he did it all on his own.... cant name to many MC's if any that does that these days.... #respect

    • Donnie Wesley

      You have to appreciate his effort and while he has "mad-potential"...This is also the reason why the album goes into the vaunted 3-rating...Too many trial-by-fire music and production on this album...But this is still a damn-good album...

  • jr88

    how can you hate on this album?...4/5 one of the best of this year...even his club songs are lyrical...damn what are you guys listening to?....let me guess every one that hates this album are wayne fans that like rhymes like "i walk light so i dont piss the grown off" or " you niggas are sweet like pumpkin pie"?.....lol

  • unknown

    why "in the morning" and "lights please" is on it, i'll never know but this wasn't a bad album at all. 10x better than Thank Me Later. hope he has more input on his next one.

    • Donnie Wesley

      Yeah...Was know where close to thank me later and because of these two songs; the album takes a slight decline to began with...

  • Bryant Austin

    Great Album from start to finish

  • DeVion Superherogeek Hinton

    Loved it from start to finish.

  • Mylie

    dope ass album good job Cole 4/5

  • David Mendes

    The review is good, but what's up with the 3.5/5 ? It deserves at least 4/5, this album is amazing !

  • Jonnathan El Amañiado Delgado

    This is the beginging to the road of beat one of the G.O.A.T

  • D3

    He is the next lyrical giant? "boy you cant out smart me, i'll make you feel like you the shit, but boy you cant out fart me"........... "the time is now it couldnt be more herer".... before yall crown this nigga he need to get his bars up... smh

    • HipHop

      STFU. Those lines are mediocre, but far away from being awful. EVERY SINGLE line on ''Nasty'' is waaaay worse than all the shit you just posted here.

    • rASHEEM Toure

      come on bruh ive heard alot worse, what about the hot shit!!!!!! "niggas think they can hang with me, cant even tie my nuse" no pain, no gain; i blow brains, kobain; throat flames, cocaine, u was probably lookin for orny shit cause u a hater

    • Anonymous

      yea son but, internationable, at least you know what he's trying to say. But out fart me? come on son, thats just ridiculous.

    • Jay

      And made up words like "herer" have been done by some of the greats like Black thought when he said "I'm already internation-able" i DARE yall to criticize black thought

    • Jay

      Kanye does the same shit but even cornier so dont even act like cole's the only one

    • gun di liro

      co-sign 100%! Those lines are awful. He has plenty of good bars on the album and he has a lot of horrible bars too. "I ball I ball like Kobe in the fall" Really? He could be kicking the illest rhyme and then throw some wack bars like those mentioned. Big Ghost outlined all the corny lines in his review. He's good, once he drops some of these corny punches he'll be great.

  • oldschoold

    Also, wanted to add I think Cole is going to get better and better, so watch out.

  • oldschoold

    Definitely an awesome album. Cole rips each track lyrically. No bad songs. There are some standout/ridiculous tracks. Cole goes silly on Rise and Shine, lyrically and production wise.

  • kingkong

    5 out of 5 easy fuk dezhaterz dez day man theyll do anything to put a nigger down u bored fuks go do something instead of livig in ur mums basements and HATING FUKERS

  • Zodiackiller


    • Ight

      overrated rapper*

    • Ight

      I agree with most of ur list but you cant say overrated rappers if u include Mc eiht whos a simple rapper and masta ace who said "they think im washed up like i got in the tub" if ur guna say a masta ace album say "slaughtahouse" lol also the cool isnt HALF as good as food and liquor....cole got a dope album here dog and ima hip hop head..4/5

  • Zodiackiller

    overrated rapper and album nothing special

  • Anonymous

    i wanna buy it support a good artist, but idk about this one i mean its his first album yeah but y have these old ass songs on there, kinda dissapointing tracklist

  • 1 out of 250k

    Just finish listening to the album and i enjoyed it. 1. Intro 2. Dollar and A Dream III 5/5 3. Can't Get Enough Ft Trey Songz 3.5/5 4. Lights Please 5/5 5. Interlude 6. Sideline Story 4/5 7. Mr. Nice Watch Ft Jay-Z 4/5 8. Cole World 5/5 9. In The Morning Ft Drake 4/5 10. Lost Ones 5/5 11. Nobody's Perfect Ft Missy Elliot 3.5/5 12. Never Told 5/5 13. Rise And Shine 5/5 14. God's Gift 5/5 15. Breakdown 4/5 16. Work Out 2/5 Cole World: The Sideline Story 4/5

  • Geraldo

    Dope album.....second best to Evidence on sept 27th

  • K:O:S

    One good beat one a whole album, and lyrics is so so! Weak!!!! He definitely don't live up to the hype! Disappointing!!!

    • Anonymous

      Its not shitty, but I agree that the majority of albums that come out lately are overrated. Like Watch The Throne sucks, and I was looking forward to that.. and nothing special about this

    • Anonymous

      ^^^ posey's right thisa album is a 4/5 easy listen to rap don't browse through all the tracks and provide a shitty opion

    • Anonymous

      @busta posey here come the e-thugs.

    • busta posey

      You are a punk bitch with a shitty opinion. This shit goes hard. Theres a reason underground rap is underground. and theres a reason the underground rise. And Cole didnt even sell out. Hes been making music like this from the get go. no good beats? the fuck are you a dj or you like lyrics? second verse of sideline story is fucking nuts. third verse of rise and shine is retarded. Its this dudes first album. Give him some credit for putting together a nice work of art. Just because all you can relate to is sucking dick and squeezing nuts, doesnt mean it isnt good cause you cant relate to jermaine. HOEBITCH!

  • thatrealshit

    kind of a whack review honestly

  • Anonymous

    The main criticism is that certain songs aren't "radio friendly?" Corny review.

  • StakesIsHigh

    The album is what i expected from a below average rapper (NOT Emcee) 2 stars thats rounding up too.

  • Karseen Demichi Duncan


  • Speak Da Truth

    A few DOPE albums dropped this week. I've listened to 3 of them so far. I would have to rank them like this though: Evidence 9th Wonder J Cole (haven't listened to Phonte yet) I like all of them, the reason I put Cole 3rd is cuz there are a few tracks on there I would skip. I can't say it's his fault though, being on a major label he has to have those "radio" joints on there. Cole shoulda saved the HiiiPower beat for himself. It was mos def a good week in Hip Hop. Support the real people.

  • hunkE

    the beats are the best part of the album... damn what a wack review

  • Hip Hop

    CLASSIC, CLASSIC, CLASSIC!!! The best album I've heard since ''Food & Liquor''. To rate this album any less than 4.5 is ridiculous. His wordplay and his storytelling abilities are out of his world, his song-writing is so amazing, his flow is driven by pure emotion and he almost produced that whole album by himself while maintaining this crazy level of quality. The concepts are sooo sick, ''A Dollar And A Dream III'' alone shits on the majority of albums that have been released this year. If that ain't incredible, nothing is. He's sooo talented. It's a shame to see such a great and well-rounded album getting dismissed like this. This album has everything a true classic needs, it will be appreciated years from now for what it is. Cole will drop several classics. 5 STARS!!! Easily the best album of the year and he will only get better.

    • JG

      wow. i know you can be a fan but come on dog give it a rest. Go listen to Boy Meets World and then tell me Cole World is a classic. A classic impacts your life/way of thinking on the first listen, there are def some hot tracks, but the beats are repetitive and Cole sounds like hes drooling half the time

  • Doubl Negative

    I couldn't give a fuck about J Cole, I just wanna know where Ev's Cats and Dogs' review is. There's too much bullshit hip-hop out there not worthy of any true B-Boy cluttering up this site. J Cole, Watch the Throne, Lil' Wayne, Bad Meets Evil get no respect from me. It's still turnin' out to be a great year for real hip-hop with ace albums by eLZhi, REKS, Apathy, Grenebeg, Dopplgangaz, Rae, Random Axe, Pharoahe Monch, Blu and of course Evidence.


    3.5/5 STARS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! This is the best Hip Hop album I've heard in at least the past 5 years...maybe more. The lyrics, wordplay, content, beats...they're all there. Cole spits real shit everyone can relate to. This is an instant classic and will get even better as time goes on.... 5/5 STARS

  • Anonymous

    Non skippable songs on the entire album. CLASSIC Now I think its safe to say #Tupacback

  • Pudgie211


  • CWFBCPub

    you guys are rapidly loosing credibility with reviews like this. You gave TML 2.5/5 and now this gets a 3.5/5. I'm sorry but in 5/10 years you're reviews are going to look laughable. 4.5 is more like it for both.

  • Damn

    Really good only ones i skipped were mr nice watch and never told....4/5 at LEAST!! damn dx u slippin lol but that evidence album yall better give a 4.5 or more

    • sig

      Thats funny. I think thats well put together. The line "forever young, peter pannnn" is sick tho. I love that track. At least your not hatin on the whole album like some of these little boys in here.

    • Damn

      Cuz he fucked everything up by saying "Never blow like hetero-SEXuals lol idk sounded corny...just not my type of track i preferred daddy;s little girl over that

    • signatty light

      Why would you skip never told? He fucking rips that track open with a smooth as flow. last eight bars of that track should change your mind. "cause wolverines, depressed and, don't wanna be your X-man" come on man...

  • Ryan Sigman

    Yo J. Cole goes so hard on this album its not even funny. You out of shape, my mind run a mile a minute The sky's the limit, I'm so high, I'm divin' in it My rides is tinted', my knob's gettin' slobbed up in it She hollerin' God, man you would've thought that God was in it But it's just a nigga God invented Uhm.. JESUS! No one listen to the second verse of this Rise and Shine. There isnt ONE skippable track. He goes in on everything. Mr Nice watch and workout are both hard as fuck. "But im back and track and never drive sober." "Cole World but im hot as shit, do that mean that im bi-polar?" Thats skippable? The fuck are you all on? Dollar and a dream? Breakdown? daddys little girl? Gods gift? never told? this is a classic. Dont listen to these people Cole. They download anyway. "J. Cole homie, can you sign my burnt CD" "Nigga please, an album ten dollars You act like it's ten g's" ... get some taste

    • Sig

      If im selling a product. im gonna convince the world that my product is the best and nothing competes to it. Thats all J Cole is doing. This is a job boy. He makes music and hes telling you why you should like it. Cause hes the fucking man. If my homeboy was sitting next to me telling me about the pussy hes slaying im gonna give him a high five. Hes writing about his life. Real events. Not about some fabricated bullshit. These bars are clever as fuck and your an idiot if your not gonna give him some credit for going in right here. dont be such a hater. He can write a song any which way and he proves that man. Any other rapper besides people like atmosphere and macklemore have trouble doing it and making it a classic piece of music. Its a talent. He put some mainstream shit on his album for sure. But fuck... I dont blame him. And its defintley twice as good as anything else on the radio to date. Youre arguing a false cause. Cole is fire thru the speakers. "Yall niggas hates before you played it but I already forgave yall" keep up to speed boy.

    • JakeUno

      I bet some of ur favorite rappers are basic if you really think about it....and im not talking elzhi, pharoahe monch, black thought and royce those guys are somewhere else with the lyrics

    • g-sus

      "You out of shape, my mind run a mile a minute The sky's the limit, I'm so high, I'm divin' in it My rides is tinted', my knob's gettin' slobbed up in it She hollerin' God, man you would've thought that God was in it But it's just a nigga God invented" What makes these bars so special? It's the same braggy shit that everyone else is doing. These bars are basic. There's nothing clever, creative or deep to them. And how many songs on the album refer to him smashing some chick? This is regular rap, nothing that deserves a rewind.

  • 1520mag

    Clearly having a huge single doesn't matter when you have a loyal fan base who willing to buy your album. 250k with no radio play and top 10 single = game changing. You play the game to change it. Cole did it.

  • Anonymous

    This album doesn't really deserve a 5/5 but definitely not a 3.5. I can listen to the entire CD without auto-skipping tracks unlike other albums rated 4/5. The production on the album may be similar as a whole but only when listening to the songs individually, you can appreciate his style.

  • NJ

    So Big Sean gets a four and this gets a 3.5? That's just stupid, it's not a classic or even close to classic but it's still a very good mainstream album!

  • Ahmed

    I love him so much , 4/5 but I put it 5 stars :)

  • seymour cake

    quality album. album of the year? no. but still an awesome album. i hated it at first. i was upset and was about to go find j cole and whoop his ass for letting me down. but as i got in my car and actually LISTENED to the album... its is smooth, clever, and well done. it is not what we are used to hearing. yes, there are flaws, some straight GARBAGE tracks.. but 10 out of 18 are good. thats quality. i would give it a 3.5 or maybe even a 3.8. not really a 4, but definately not a 3.

  • rise and shine

    dollar and a dream 3 lights please cant get enough (best radio track 2011) breakdown never told nobodys perfect sideline story rise and shine gods gift this lp has 9 sik tracks, even the ones i didnt mention are nice, except mr. nice watch which is easily one of coles worst tracks 2 date.... 3.5/5 is bullshit, id giv it a 4/5, maybe 4.5/5 best album of the year, cant wait till the next cole world, not stopped listenin 2 the sideline story all week RISE AND SHINE

  • eki

    bigghostnahmean.blogspot.com/ --> only valid review!

  • Anonymous

    The fans' numbers don't lie.

  • Anonymous

    If people have nothing good to say,shut the fuck up!!! #asIFyouCANmakeMUSIC

  • 2pacalypseeee

    Trash album, sound like something you expect from a ex Disney chanbel actor. Miley Cyrus Jonas brothers type shit. Fake rapper, trash lyrics trash production.

  • BlakOut

    3.5 stars? CMON DX its atleast a 4, seriously... theres only a few tracks that are alright, the rest of the album is FIRE.

  • chiefzs

    I put this album in very excited took it out and put ev's right back in here and there is a good track but a little dissapointed 2.5 cmon people if this is 5 mics the scale must have went up to 10 not hating its just not that good

  • મધરપોકર રમતુડો

    The best of 2011

  • adnanojd

    pugs I agrre with u classic material 4.5/9

  • Pugz

    This is a great album. Who knows if it will be a classic? Maybe it will be or maybe it won't, but all I know is I will be listening to this years down the road. Standout Tracks: 1. Lights Please - timeless classic song, got him signed by Jay Z 2. Sideline Story - Arguably the most well-rounded song on the album. Amazing storytelling. 3. Lost Ones - One of the deepest tracks on the album. Cole wrote this 4 years ago and has been saving it. The perspective is unlike anything else I've heard. 4. Nobody's Perfect - Missy destroys the hook, upbeat song about love. Like the beat a lot and its something you can just bump. 5. Breakdown - The deepest song on the album next to the aformentioned Lost Ones. If you like lyricism, this song is for you. Cole opens up his mind and his heart. Skippable Tracks: 1. Work Out - A poppy sounding song, more for the radio and the clubs. 2. Mr. Nice Watch - I thought it would grow on me. It doesn't help that Cole's lyrics are average. He can do better. Still a song I'll listen to from time to time to bump in the car. Overall: 9/10

  • david villa

    this album when deep and has clear messages.. some people dont seem to analyze high quality lyrics .. but im sure jcole has something prepared for the future.. COLEWORLD. get off the closet and study his music lame fucks

    • મધરપોકર રમતુડો

      Definitely ...Hi's ri8 now one of the Best lyricist i have heard in the long time... May be After Tupac, Biggie, Eminem

  • Anonymous

    This was a 4/5 album, or 4.25/5, but ya'll give Big Sean a better ratting? Fuck outa here nigga

    • seymour cake

      whoa!!! i just got on this site.. dont tell me they gave big sean's album anything more than 2/5??!?! that shit was horrible. probably the most dissapointing album ive EVER heard. i dont even listen to big sean anymore because of that shit. j cole > big sean

    • Anonymous

      j.cole is by far better lyrically than big sean, BUT the difference in their albums is the SINGLES, Sean has better and more reliable singles on Finally famous than cole has on his. Nevertheless, this still some classic sounding tracks on here. definitely a great album, and it may even sell more than Big sean(and Wiz) albums did...

  • freddy

    Never been so obsessed with an album before. J Cole is amazing. This album rivals Food & Liquor and the College Dropout

  • Who Else

    Monstah, intelligent dudue, with character....no make believe flexing

  • J. Cole

    stop hating on my shit you bastards!!! i worked hard for this and you niggas need to L.I.S.T.E.N. to what the fuck is being said!!

  • Anonymous

    So Kanye got a 4.5 and Cole got a 3.5? Oh Ok.

  • Anonymous

    2.5 outta 5 is what this album is...Now Evidence's album "Cats & Dogs" is easily the best album to drop this week.

  • green

    favorite all year... nigga

  • Yer

    Now that cole is going to do pretty well commercially, cole is now the best rapper on the mainstream level. Until lupe comes out with something better than lasers lol Id put nas at # 1 but Nasty isnt played that much...EVEN IN NY!! its disgraceful.....anyway good album A-

  • Ron

    great work...4/5...top ten albums this year...everybody else stop over/underrating it...its a good album

  • King Vic

    Look whether u wanna call the album a classic or not is up to u but it is a damn great album. I read this reviewing before listening to it and picked it up today and listened to it twice so far. I didn't think that the beats all sounded alike and actually admire the fact that he produced most of his DEBUT album. great job j. cole! ....as far as your concerned hiphopDX...u rated this album 3.5....u also gave that same rating to pitbulls last album....yea i dont understand how your rating works.

  • Anonymous

    HIPHOPDX IS A JOKE. i was dissapointed in j cole from what i heard, however i bought the album and it is very good. Yes it could be better because he isnt doing things that aren't much different than others. this hiphopdx review is bullshit thought giving big sean a 4 and this a 3 like really. fucken homos, riding the wave.

  • Ben

    This is at the vesy least a 4

  • Anonymous

    And for the record, Beanie Sigel went plat SOLELY because Jay-Z was hot. Beans was ok and just knew how to rhyme. Freeway's personality was missing before he got signed, and noone related to him at all...ask the half of million people who bought his first album. What do you expect J. Cole to rap about since we all know he isn't Jay-Z? Drugs? Guns? This kid is just as incredible as Lupe, and a classic album dosen't have to consist of all things G...his music is accessible to all because he isn't attempting to prove he is hard-body, and people all over the country are tired of wannabe G's in the rap game saying the same shit over and over again. Classik...

    • Andre Cooper

      Beans just knows how to rhyme? My dude you need to be refreshed on hiphop and go back listen to the truth and the reason....Clearly beans went over your lil brain....

  • Anonymous

    You guys need to hire reviewers that know what true hip-hop is...this album right here at this stage of the game is a classic. If you were born in the 1990's you shouldn't be allowed to publicly review any music, because your naivete causes so many artists to lose potential fans and shine....5 Stars for the kidd from the N.C.

  • Access123

    Cole surprised me and made me a fan with this cd

  • JOhn

    AMAZING! This is brining hip hop back and he is going to take this game. ever since his album came out i havent been stop listening. I just bought my 3rd copy of the thing cuz i wannna support becuase hes so great so everyone better go out there and support

  • Jeff Mason

    HIPHOP WEDNESDAYS On BKS1 RADIO www.bks1radio.com at 9pmet/6pm PT. It's The LIVE IN THE CIPHER SHOW as we RATE & REVIEW Along with You the Listener J. Cole New Release "Cole World: The Sideline Story" Chat Live or Call In 646-929-1530. Artist Can Also Call in with Your Hot 16, Hip Hop Gossip, Rap Trivia Quiz & More Join the CIPHER 2 Nite LIVE @ 9pm on www.bks1radio.com Join The Experience! SPECIAL GUEST RAP ARTIST WHiiTE BOY

  • EQ

    Better than what I expected. I'm so proud of the kid!!

  • Speak Da Truth

    I gotta be honest. I've been waiting for this album to drop, I've been a Cole fan since before most peeps even heard his name. But for me this album doesn't meet expectations. Too many poppish type songs on here, plus some shit we already heard before. The album is maybe 50/50 for me. Not the "timeless" album that I was expecting. His best beat to date is on Kendrick Lamar's album. I don't always agree with hhdx reviews but 3.5 seems on point for this one.

  • newkz

    Loved it man. Can't wait to hear more of this guy's music. Great album. I can listen to all of the tracks without skipping them.

  • Chris Jacob

    Album is sick and a classic. Fuck the haters, Cole World!

  • Anonymous

    200k... thats all i got to say to this stupid ass salty ass I'm a old ass hiphop head ass article... Nigga woulda gave the dropout a 3 1/2 smh

  • Kimmy Massiel Mejia

    the only album i have bought in 5 years! amazing amazing amazing! #coleworld

  • Anonymous

    Good as album ! Give it 4/5

  • lifetimesofsc

    this album sucks and I dig all of his mixtapes. At the moment it's : Lupe & Odd Future in terms of young ones doing it with potential longevity.

    • Hmm

      ODD FUTURE?!?!? what about kendrick lamar and big krit? man everyone has their own opinion but i thought this album was dope....and plenty of albums have used old tracks (Illmatic, Its dark and hell is hot, Pharoahe monch- desire, get rich or die trying, my dark twisted fantasy, etc) However evidence came out with the best effort

    • MacNigga

      Lupe sucks now. What has he done all year that was good for Hip Hop?

  • flaco

    Solid album. Few flaws. Hard to call it Classic. But compared to everything else the other 90% of the game has to offer right now, gotta give credit where it's due.

  • Lenny

    I will say this: This album seems to be the best attempt of a rapper trying to keep his underground fans happy while trying to branch out to his newer mainstream fans. I give Cole credit for that. The album is a VERY solid album. Not a classic, but I can still see myself playing this album years down the line. This is a great debut that puts me in the mind of Kanye's College Dropout and Lupe's Food & Liquor. And I dont understand why critics are complaining about Cole not working with outside producers. Just the fact that e made his debut album using 90% of his own production is something that should be praised. It's HIS album, from the beats to the lyrics to the themes, and Cole did a great job there. I give it an 8/10.

  • Anonymous

    it was pretty good album wasnt excellent he could do better lyrically like in the "Warm Up"


    In other news The Wonder Years kills this album..

  • Matt

    Sideline Story is the best record on the album. The piano combined with the sick flow had me replayin it 10X. Don't you know that I be out in France where the fans throw they hands like Pacquiao. Not cuz my looks cuz my hooks could knock Rocky out. Rediculous.

  • Chris

    Fiya!! Album is amazing...listened to it straight through 3 times already...

  • Victor McGriff

    This is a really good album. only faults are old tracks and leaked tracks not on the album

  • kenny

    I like that he raps about real shit not about sex drugs and alchohal and clubs.

  • saint

    I agree with Big Ghost on his blog. Cole is a bitch and the album is over-emotional pop rap bullshit. Niggas on my block put out hotter albums than this faggot. The album gon flop n Jay gon drop his ass from RocNation. I'm glad I didn't buy it. But I ain't gon hate tho, I guess some people like this kind of crying shit. Fuck it, Nov 10th, MED - Classic. That gon be album of the year. Anyway, two stars just cause... idontevenknowwhy

    • saint

      1. Has it ever occurred to you that not all people like to hear a rapper talk about him 'shedding tears' when his mom is doing drugs. On like 10 DIFFERENT SONGS ON THE SAME FUCKING ALBUM! 2. I don't think hip-hop should be too emotional, I think it's supposed to be entertaining. 3. Before all these hipsters came, hip-hop was hard, and I like it that way. 4. There are many ways to talk about money, bitches and guns (don't forget drugs). Listen to the Outro joint on Section80. 5. A reason for two stars: boring beats, wack rhymes and all the songs are basically about the same shit. Very unoriginal music. The whole album is as soft as his facial expressions. 6. Big Ghost is mad funny and I recommend it to anyone.

    • Pugz

      You are obviously uneducated as fuck. To claim that an album is too emotional just proves that you cannot even enjoy any type of REAL music. Music is meant to show emotion from the artist. It is art at the end of the day. So stop acting like you're "hard" and only like "hard" music that talks about pointless music we've heard every rapper from the ghetto try and talk about. "Money, bitches, and guns" are really motivational topics with a lot behind them. And 1. you don't have any valid reason for 2 stars (you admitted it yourself) and 2. any point you have is invalid due to the fact that you read Big Ghost, the most randomly opinionated 4th grade-educated fucking idiot.

  • JG

    There is def potential. The MIssy track is hot for sure and Nothing Last Forever is a heartbreaker...and Whos Dat NEEDED a Kanye feature, the beat is screaming for Yeezys voice to drop on that 2nd verse!

  • gun di liro

    I think its great that Cole did his own production on his debut. The beats aren't the greatest, but its his way of making his mark. Putting his own stamp on his own album. Many have done it before so I don't see what the problem is. I find his production on the album to be a bit generic, but he's only going to get better.

  • Henry Samuel

    i didn't like the fact that he release almost half of the songs from the album before it's due date, but i like the fact the fact he did promised his fans something to look for it. i loved it. I can feel J. Cole put his fullest 100% on this album and i must say, he did a great job on it...4.5 stars is what i rated the album

  • Cheng

    4.5, some of the songs are so emotionally charged. That line about rappers not rapping about real life, how they did that hard white, yeah right, ask my momma what addicted to that pipe feel like....wow. Jay-Z should've been on Rise and Shine or God's Gift. He has some good radio play on his album but he kept it lyrical as he said he would. Really good album.

  • icewater

    Best album this year.

  • Bryant

    Its dope that he produced most of the tracks and eventhough I heard some of the records before the album came out it was still a solid rookie album.

  • Rich Porter

    It's hot but not a classic.

  • aaronlamar

    I don't see why the beats are that big of an issue. Now I'm not saying that Cole shouldn't have called on NoID or Kanye since Watch the Throne had Kanye produce a good amount of those beats, but but I feel like Cole wanted to make his first album HIS album you know? I mean the lyrics aren't lacking in the least in my opinion, and there is subject matter (you know...the thing that hardly anyone ever uses anymore)which is greatly appreciated. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that Cole used Lights Please and In the Morning when he could have used ANY song on FNL and probably got better output for. I feel like once Cole get's into beats that more people appeal to and keep up the way he raps now he will be a great. Not a legend like some dick-riders would say, but great nonetheless

    • Bry

      Definitely agree and remember Kanye's beats were dope but not as great on College Dropout as they were in Graduation. I feel like by the 2nd or 3rd project his beat game is gonna be crazy, and his lyrics are gonna get even better.

  • Jay

    when i first listened to album i was some wat disappointed cuz i expected more. but as i listen to it more im starting to feel it more and more. yesterday i got high and got a chance to really drive around & check it out and its a tight album. not the type of cd u can jus play one or two times and say if its good or not. so to everybody saying they dont like it i say give it a chance. alot of classic albums are the ones that grow on you. i didnt like biggies ready to die when it first came out cuz i was stuck on the westcoast tupac and spice 1 sound but i gave it a chance and thats wat music is about. you cant just listen to a cd a couple times and really give a true review. i will say some of the beats could have been more like the lights please beat but ya boy cole spittin on this cd. he talking bout more in one song then most rappers talk about on their whole cd. to everybody who saying its not good dont toss it out the sunroof yet, give it a few more listens. on another note, stop arguing on here like a bunch of lames cuz someone has a difference in opinion, that is wat the site is for, to say how u feel. respect one another. respect is the key to life.

  • Anonymous

    3 stars some good lyrics but after a few songs Cole gets boring and the beats suck ass

  • Patrick Nomvia

    A good point about that album : NO LIL WAYNE FEATURING!!! NOWHERRE!

  • Jay

    I like the album. Though I think the prior mix-tape should have been released as his first, I give his first album a 4.5. He is the realest artist in the game. If you include the co production, J Cole produced over 90% of his album. I disagree with writer of this post. J Cole gave us a solid J Cole album with dope lyrics and original beats. I am so so tired of these cliche albums. Get a trendy R&B hook or white person (Lupe), an amped up dance rhythem track that is so overproduced, and some stupid illogical lyrics, like I should diss Obama or dumb shit. This guy on to something big. Honestly new acts like Kendrick Lamar and Jay Electronica just bore me, J Cole is refreshing. New acts need to take note. Fans want honestly. Just be yourself and you will have a following. The only co sign J Cole gets is from his hardcore fans. He doesn't need industry heads to gas him up. I think Jay Z needs to get out of way and let this guy grow into something big. The negative comments are same Comments Jay z and Nas got during there first album. Like Lyrics are good, but needed commercial production like Dre or Puff. Stop hating, this album will go gold in a year. And you young folks need to go listen to lil b or soulja boy. You don't understand classic material.

  • Keace

    This album fail to live up to my expectations. As a J.Cole fan my self I can honestly say I'm disappointed in this album. I'm going to break 3 aspects of the album down right now, lyrics,beats, and creativity as a whole. Okay the Lyrics on this album were average. J.Cole spends to much time talking about the same ol shit we heard before. The intro track he is just rapping about the same story he told us and all of his other mix-tapes. Honestly bloggers how many damn times do you have to write about the same shit we get it already. The other half of the album he talks about relationships. It gets repetitive after awhile and boring. Everything he is rapping about we all heard before from females getting knocked up,cheated on,being strippers and from being broke and not having shit and now you made it. Its very disappointing because I was expecting more. Okay the beats are whatever also. Lets just be real a lot of these beats have a old school feel to them. Which depending on your preference would be either good or bad. But since we have to considered J.Cole a commercial artist(I mean shit he is sign to ROC-NATION) The beats are not up to commercial standards. A lot of his beats sound like mix tape beats not album beats. I think J.Cole should of reach out more to other producers.I'm not talking about Lex luger or whoever else that make trap beats. I'm talking about producers like. Kanye west,Bink!,Just blaze,J.U.S.T.I.C.E. league. Those are top notch samplers in the game. They would of made his album sound more bigger and epic. To me the creativity on the album was solid. I just felt that he failed to execute it the right way. He should've came up with new stories elements that we haven't heard yet. He should came up with new concepts that we haven't heard. There is so much stuff that I felt like he could of did but he didn't. Hopefully with his next project he gets more creative. Overall the album is solid. Its not the best album I heard this year by far. Its not the worst either. There are just a lot of elements I feel like are missing from this album. Hopefully J.Cole look at his faults with this album and come harder next time. Overall I give this album a rating 3.5/5

    • Anonymous

      i agree with keace the album wasnt bad there were some high points but he could do better

    • ice water

      Just wondering, but what did you expect him to talk about? This album was following his story of rags to riches. I like how you went into detail on why you didn't like certain things, even though I disagree with you on almost everything you said.

    • blackula

      You summed it up perfectly.

  • adnanojd

    this is what u call being an individual with skillz that can carry his own weight with rhyme, productin, skilz, content, lyricism methaphors punchlines u name it & dont need every song on his album to have a feature for sales & airplay for success. I wonder since when is producing your own album a fault that means your'e goin to fail says the reviewer William E. Ketchum III. this guys obviously does'nt know hip hop history The Chronic, Graduation College Dropout, The Low End Theory come on Willie, now history of the game before u say dumbshit like that. anywyas this is pure hip hop if this were the 90's this will be platinu in 2weeks. Cole world 4.5

  • adnanojd

    listen to it fully with understanding not party/beat thinkin. people who rate this low is obviously 2004-5 onward Label/ Radio friendly HipPop orientated. recognize real shit not wat label's/billbord sale's portrays as best content. Cole World 4.5 Classic Hip/Hop content about his life & struggle to reach wher he's at, Jayz ain' signed him to be a gimmick/puppet for sales like 90% of the rappers out now ex: Wiz Khalifah, Gucci mayne, waka flocka,post carter 3 lil wayne & others. He signedhim because he has conten in his lyrics & he can spit. y'all hatin because he made his own beats, so wat? whyshould he spend mad bread on high profile produces when he's prtty dope producer in his own right, jus for sales the label gon make off him? he aint graduat NYU a dummy. Cole World Bitches

  • SKAM

    People calling it trash now, just wait a few weeks. Everybody is gonna be D-riding him watch. Lol...He's by far the realest rapper in the game! Lyrically gifted, and can kill the beat. What more can you ask for? The album is great! very clever theme, selective tracks, great beats. Although I downloaded it, defiantly supporting him. I can understand why he didn't feature many artist, it's obvious that he wanted to prove himself especially regarding the fact that he produced 15 out of 18 tracks. Keep doing your thing J. 5 stars!

  • adnanojd

    J. Cole's debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story The Best Hip-Hop (Lyricism,message,Punchlines,methaphors) of the year by far, not Weezy, not Watch The Throne but J. Cole. If you long for real Hip-Hop like myself, I'm talking 80's 90's type realness then you should feel at home right here. J. Cole a true student of Hip-Hop's glory days of realness,message in your lyrics and passion in your music does'nt dissappoint. If your looking for poppy singles, straight club dance songs and BS that plays over n over on radio, then this is not for u. With That Being said here's my review. Oh yeah only 4 features, a rarity these days so you know its all Cole's World Baby. 1. Intro - J. Cole reminisces about the day he waas signed on son real shit, a nice prelude of what's sure to be a classic. 5/5 2. Dollar and a dream - A continuation of the DAAD series from his mixtapes sets the tone for what's to come. 5/5 3. Can't get enought ft. Trey Songz - not too poppy as some would expect but this works right here. A sure hit if pushed the way it should be, a nice hook & Cole show he can switch it up for the ladies also, he's comfortable here. 5/5 4. Lights Please - If you dont know this song you obviously not a fan of Mr. Cole. This the infamous song Jay Z heard and signed him. 5/5 5. Interlude - nice retrospective here, I'd feel the same way too, J. Cole played it cool. 5/5 6. Sideline Story - Real shit right here, listen to the lyrics. For all u upcoming repper take notes. 5/5 7. Mr. Nice Watch ft. Jay Z - Produce by cole Himself, the beat sounds weird at first but catches on with multiple spins. But Jay Z's half assed bars brings the song down. 4/5 8. Cole World - a Banger. " got a 150 bitches in the club staring at me, how dat feel? very happy." 5/5 9. In the morning ft. Drake - First liked this on Friday Night Lights. 5/5 10.Lost Ones - The Best song on here in my opinion, from start to finish Cole's lyricism,delivery & story telling is reminisence of the Great @ Pac Shakur's Breenda's Got a Baby. Real Shit if you don't like this you buggin. 5/5 11.Nobody's Perfect ft. Missy Elliott - Potential single that has a 90's feel to it and Missy does her thing very well as if she has'nt been behind the scene's & J. Cole is on point with his flow & lyricism. 5/5 12.Never Told - Another Real record which Lyrics paints a perfect picture with the art of story telling alah one of Cole Idol's Andre 3000. 5/5 13.Rise and shine - When the beat drops & lyrics start to flow, you wil definatle be repeating this everyday. 5/5 14.God's Gift - he is to Hip Hop. 5/5 15.Breakdown - another of the best tracks on here, listen to the words and lyrics. 5/5 16.Work Out - The first single, has that summertime vibe to it, thought it did'nt get the push or radio play it derved still good. 5/5 17.Who Dat - 5/5 18.Daddy's little Girl - Real Shit 5/5 Alotta rappers these days get so much hype & dont live up to it, not J. Cole. He not only shows he's a student of those that came before him but he also shows he's here to stay. If your lookin for beat driven, pop oriented anthems this is not for you. Best Hip-Hop album of the year in my opinion, Classic (I dont say that often). Overall 9/10 or 4.5 Best Songs: Lost Ones, Nobody's Perfect, Sideline Story, Cole World, Never Told, Rise & Shine, God's Gift, Breakdown & Daddy's Little Girl. Nobody's perfect should be a single for the ladies anyway.

    • Andre Cooper

      I agree with everything you said...but you mad fronting on yourself if you think jay-z verse was half assed!!!! Be real with yourself fam

  • Jmac823200

    I find it funny that so many are complaining about the production. While it may not be on the level of Kanye's it is still pretty good. NOTE: In order to hear the quality of the music, you must have quality equipment! Listening to something on a computer doesn't compare to listening to something on REAL speakers. What kind of speakers are some of y'all using anyway??? Great Debut! Solid album.

  • Andre Cooper

    so i listened to the album and i must that i am taking back what i said about the album being decent....The album is amazing!!!!! It deserves a 4.5....it is not a classic but a solid debut and shows that he has the skills to be a great!!! and that song rise and shine is greatness at it's finest!!! i got that joint on repeat as we speak!!!! 4.5/5

  • joao

    listened to it...i would have to give it a 7/10. I respect this man's grind,he is prolific and is very talented on the mic and behind the boards as a producer but his album left me wanting a little more. I would recommend danny brown's XXX, big k.r.i.t. Return of 4eva, and of course Kendrick Lamar's Section 80. The trifecta of 2011 hip hop releases.

  • Ganjarelli

    I'm interested to see what a concensus rating would be from people who actually like J. Cole, not from people who think he's shit in the first place. Obviously we should have ratings from people who enjoy the same types of shit. I'm a video game head, among other things, but I generally hate military FPS games & yearly Madden football. I'm just the wrong guy to ask for a review on Black Op's, that's all. Why say I hate it and it sucks when millions of people can't get enough? Cole World is fantastic. I love that he produced most of the album and had barely any features. Boy don't need no fucking features. And to say it ain't up to the caliber of his mixtapes only speaks higher for him. He's got total creative control over those, after all. And can drop em' quicker too. Damn! Politics just fuck up everything, don't they? Rating: 90% out of 100% (Fuck 5 Stars, I gotta keep it One-Hunnit!)

  • jason

    Best album since Tha Carter 2

  • Anonymous

    Solid debut. Not as good as the Warm Up but still better than 97% of other music out now. 4.5 stars

  • Comptonsmostwanted

    this sound weak to me , lyrics arent great he sound like the rest of the other pop rappers on this album . nothing special 2 stars

  • Some Reality

    Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor >>>>>>>>>> This pile of "oh i gotta get the hood" repetitive "oh how you gon leave a pregnant girl" shit

    • Jay

      Lupe and his last album are old news.

    • SKAM

      I'm a Lupe fan but I don't think he has more lyrical talent than J. Cole...60% of the times his songs have no meaning where he rhymes about random things like most rappers now a days. On the other hand Cole paints pictures in your mind, like a movie while you listen. Go ahead and listen to the album. Oh and, I say J. Cole can take in Lupe in a battle any day! Eat that nigga alive!!! Lol.

    • Anonymous

      ^^^^^slow your role, lupe will and will always be a superior lyrist to j. Cole, I like J. Cole but also Food & Liquor > Cole World

    • jason

      J. Cole >>>>>>>>>>>> Lupe Cole World >>>>>>>>>>> any Lupe album Friday Night Lights >>>>>>>> any Lupe album Warm Up >>>>>>>>> any Lupe album

  • The Cole Bandwagon


  • Anonymous

    shit was fucking great. Can listen to it staright through with ease and i think thats the true sign of a great album.

  • Joel BlackJesus Acosta-Enriquez

    This album was ass.

  • josh millard

    cole world!!!! 2nd best album of the year.WTT still number 1

  • R.O.D.K.I.N.G.

    Sad...The Master Got Outdone by the Pupil.....Dope Album Cole...Support it and copped 2 copies...Carter 4, Hell: The Sequel, All 6's & 7's, Watch the throne..GOOD DAY IN HIP-HOP

  • Nick

    DOpe Cole always delivers

  • cole stans go hard

    Let's be honest, this album was shit. This is one of those that will be forgotten in about two weeks. No hits, no lyrical feats, just lame assness. At least "Tha Cart IV" had some good beats. This shit is just soft.

    • Jay

      Are you kidding me, the Carter IV beats where mostly garbage and Wayne's wordplay was trash. I sold that crap on ebay

    • il duce

      Muther fucker.. did u listen to the album?? I was never into cole.. Blazed a fat one last night and listened to album from start to finish.. Album is dooooope!! Best album this year next to Jay & Kanye & I know some are gonna hate But Lupe Lasers. Go out & cop it!

    • -____-

      Nigga....you dont gotta be a stan to know that this is a dope album and the only good songs on the carter 4 were the 2 songs wayne wasnt even on

  • Dope

    Only wack songs in my opinion were Mr. Nice watch and Never told... and work out but that was a bonus everything else was really great....the other bonus track was dope too daddys little girl

  • sam

    Best album that has come out in a minute no doubt if you'll hating on this album something is wrong with you ALBUM OF THE YEAR!

  • Jon

    I know cole got haters out there but they cant deny his talent and lyrical ability....even if u dislike him you should still respect him and hope he does well because if a lyrical mc can sell and be on top of the charts, thats a good look for hip hop as a whole...yeah the underground has the best music it always has, but cole represents the future of the mainstream and we need a voice like his on the airwaves

    • reallydoe?

      @ brian stfu wtf about the album is dumbed down....be happy that a real lyricist is getting love from the mainstream

    • Brian

      what is so fucking lyrical about this album??? please explain it to me. whether they want to admit it not, people know this shit is so dumbed down it's stupid.

  • blake

    Jermaine Lamarr Cole is a 26 year old MC and producer from North Carolina, who performs under the stage name, J. Cole. Like many of the up-and-coming mainstream artists in Hip-Hop, Cole is not a thug, in fact, he graduated magna cum laude at St. John's University in New York. He sings on tracks, he uses the same flow as Drake and Big Sean, and his lyrical style is the same as every other rookie in the game. Although J. Cole is in many ways similar to his peers, something sets him aside from this generation of MC's. Something makes his studio debutCole World: The Sideline Story rise above any other debut this year. Most importantly, J. Cole's lyrical content surpasses all the Wiz Khalifas out there who repetitively rap about that same 5 things over-and-over again. The lyrics on Cole's studio debut are about the trials and tribulations of an aspiring artist and dealing with new found fame and success; a common trait of many auspicious lyricists. However, it is Cole's production ability that provides the unique sound on Cole World: The Sideline Story. Eleven of the fifteen tracks on the album are exclusively produced by J. Cole, which are some of the most interesting and innovative beats since the rise of Kanye West in the early 2000's. In fact, his production style is similar to that of Kanye's. Both producers make simple, raw instrumentals that appeal to mainstream music listeners, as well as real Hip-Hop enthusiasts. The production on the album makes Cole sound like a contemporary version of Common or Q-Tip, a refreshing change of sound, compared to the likes of his peers. At this point in Hip-Hop, when most new artists are trying to get on another shitty Lex Lugar track or when you have guys like Wiz Khalifa working with the same dude who produced “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry; its nice to hear someone like J. Cole, who's capable of making some real beats. The biggest issue with J. Cole is that he is somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place. Although Cole makes great beats, rhymes well and is all around creative, his persona is way too soft for hard core Hip-Hop's respect. He of course does the whole interchangeably singing thing in his verses and he's not afraid to belt out a hook. However, the more degrading aspect is that he simply doesn't rap with the classic Hip-Hop swagger, he uses the new skinny jeans Drake-style bitch swagger. When he sings the hook “Can I hit it in the morning?” on his track “In The Morning (Feat. Drake)”, he sounds so winey when he says it. Just imagine how much realer it would sound if someone like Ghostface Killah or Biggy were saying it; smoother and more confident, instead of winey and pathetic. The track “Lost Ones” is another great example. Cole takes one of his realest, most creative beats on the album, along with three solid verses; only to ruin the whole track with one of the softest hooks ever made. “and I aint to proud to tell you that I cry sometimes, I cry sometimes about it”, listen to this hook about J. Cole crying, then listen to “Who I Am” by The Diplomats. You will be able to tell how Juelz Santana is real enough to be talking about himself crying, but when Cole does it, he sounds like a 15 year old trying to write his first song. This proves that it's not J. Cole's lyrics that are the problem, it's his persona. J. Cole did a lot of things right on Cole World: The Sideline Story, but he's still got a lot of work to do if he wants to make something classic. He doesn't need to go out and become a Thug or go to the other extreme and become a record company sellout, his balance makes him who he is. However, he needs to play with that balance in order to live up to his potential. http://www.cdcheck.net/index.html

  • Vincent Finney II

    Great album but I wish he would have let others get in on the beat making! But that still doesn't take too much from the overall success of the album!

  • Kimberly Cole

    J coles album was amazingly great , i was speechless after every song .. this definitely a classic #ColeWorld over everything

  • Hubert Jubberman

    Only a 4 star because not all the tracks are that good. "The Greatest Story Never Told" is still the best rap album of the year.

  • Tim Williams

    this was a solid joint... Cole World

  • yayayyy

    Deserves a 4 at least especially since big sean got a 4 IDK HOWWWW!! dope ass album tho....the most complete album of sept. 27th MIGHT go to evidence tho...phontes is great too but i give the edge to cole on the album

  • Styles

    Dope! Been waiting for this album for a year and a half now! As big of a fan as I am of Cole, I was starting to have my doubts how dope the album would be considering a lot of the music that I've heard from him over the past year hasn't been up to the level I expect from someone with his skills. Thankfully, on this album he shows that I should never have doubted him. Ever since I heard Lights Please and The Warm Up mixtape a couple years ago, J. Cole instantly became one of my favorite emcees so I'm a little biased, but I think that his debut is better than all of the other young cats that came in the game around the same time (Drake, B.o.B., etc). This album is a BANGER!!!

  • Realistic

    I see some/most people are giving this a high rating just because the like J.Cole. Beats were weak Lyrics are good His Delivery isnt that great His voice can gte annyoing afterwhile Good Storytelling And like some said, after waiting this long he should have had nothing but New Tracks on the album. Decent album overall - People want to Like J Cole so much this they are overrating this album. I give between 3 and 3.5 stars but thats my opinion.

  • Felisha Eden

    Wonder why it got just a 3.5 definitely deserves higher.

  • tammy


  • Randy Robbins

    personally dude, im sick of everybody trying to say that one artist is bigger than another. i dont care who the biggest is, as long as real, good hip-hop is being created once again. dudes like cole, kendrick, xv, and k.r.i.t. are bringing the game back. whether theyre here for a while or just a right now, they are making hits and good music.

  • Anonymous

    i dont think it was over hyped. it had just enough hype. i do agree that the beats could've been better and he should of had all new music. he had enough time to make all original songs. and should not be so stubborn not to use other peoples' beats/productions. All and all I would give it B- i just hope he keep growing as a artist and improves on his weak spots

  • Christian Cain

    Classic. Cole World, No Blanket.

  • More than a 3.5

    Name another rapper that had as much emotion and lyricism as J Cole in lost ones.. in 2011. You all most likely didn't bother to actually LISTEN to the WHOLE album and decided to make judgements.

  • Sam Ritz

    this shit is the truth. at least 4 stars.

  • Aleraz

    Listening to this album now and its fire. It def deserves higher than a 3.5, whats wrong with you dx?