Rating 10 out of 10 [Editor’s note: upon second thought, and deliberation, the staff opted to change the review to 10/10. Thanks to our, Twitter fam for helping finalize the decision!]
J Cole is the first signee of Roc Nation
– and might be turning into Jay Zs best investment. J Coles
latest mixtape Friday Night Lights
was released this past Friday to a hype unseen of a free mixtape in
almost two years. The mixtape was almost impossible to find for
a time in an era where download sites are as popular and diverse
as skittles. Friday Night Lights lines up to be J Coles
third mixtape the others being The Come Up (2007)
and The Warm Up (2009) with all of the previous being critically
acclaimed pieces of music. With Friday Night Lights
J Cole has filled up the Game breaker – creating fervor of excitement
for his debut album, Cole World.
Friday Night Lights features
20 tracks of Hip Hop in its purest form. Pleasing every fan from
purists to mainstream. Featuring little to no features only
3 on the main album (aside from the bonus G.O.O.D Friday release Looking
for Trouble) including production credits, J Coles mixtape
is an excellent flexing of the musical ability J Cole has. It
starts with the tranquil self entitled entrance track Friday Night
Lights, which ends with the thesis for the entire project What
good is being The One when youre the only one that knows it?.
Cole represents and pays homage to
the years of Hip Hop preceding him. Enchanted, one of the
brightest songs on an already pearlescent mixtape, borrows the epic
chorus off of Tupacs classic, Hail Mary. While staying
true to the words, Cole manages to twist meaning into the opposite of
what it is meant while still capturing its essence. With one of
the few features Omen delivers one of the best verses on the album
a rare overshadowing of Cole- something Cole himself does to everyone
Before Im Gone is a strong,
epic, ride song spat with such hunger and meaning – speaking
of the times and struggles of everyday life. Cole has the swagger
of an intelligent college kid with the hunger and spark of a young vagabond
roaming the streets. Villematic, 2 Face, and Higher
are all songs which make up a strong midsection it is easy to become
lost in this mixtape.
With the large amount of songs, it
is surprising to see J Cole hold his own as the entire tape completes
itself. J Coles rhyme book is deep and large as each track
is laced with complex metaphors, similes, and alliteration reminiscent
of his Boss, Jay Z. Premeditated Murder explains his ambitions
as he predicts his current and rapid ascent into the game. Cole
is confident and it works it is almost his best aspect. Songs
like Back to the Topic, See World and Farewell just
give off the image of a young and dangerous rapper.
The highly anticipated Drake and Cole
collaboration, In the Morning left none to be desired. The song is a great showing by both artists – each artist having come
into their own discussing a situation which might only come with
the job. While this song worked, it does not seem almost as close
to as what could have come out of collaboration between the two.
Friday Night Lights is a mixtape
with very few blemishes and faults. Cole nicely nits together
a very interesting precursor to his upcoming album Cole World
and it holds its own as one of the most complete mixtape of the year.
Is he The One? Well we do not know that yet but Friday
Night Lights definitely has us paying attention.
Jacques Morel is the creator of www.IFuxksWithThat.com. A journalist, interviewer, and personality
he is a College Senior, he attends St
Johns University in Queens.