Saturday, November 20, 2010

"One Time For the City, Two Times For You"

Without a doubt, the track below is one of the standout tracks on J. Cole's recently released Friday Night Lights mixtape. I'm not gonna go as far as to compare it to Drake's So Far Gone, but the quality of tracks front to back on this mixtape is consistently high, like something you'd traditionally expect from a studio album. For me as a fan of Hip Hop, I'm a big supporter of the developing trend that is artists putting more time and effort into their mixtapes, going instead for quality rather than inundating fans with diluted, DJ tagged tracks. Now it's more about buzz and can you gain fans with consistently good music, regardless of whether it is a mixtape or studio album. You can call it an increase in accountability, I see it as artists taking more pride in the product they are putting out. Don't take that as a knock on effort, there isn't any difference between new artists and Hip Hop legends that have been in the game, the only difference is in the way artist's now make money and go about monetizing their skills. You're not gonna get paid by selling cds anymore, you can make about as much cash with a single on a mixtape as you would an album, iTunes doesn't know the difference.

I digress...but the track below has this soulful undertone that emerges out of church choir style background vocals mixed with a soft piano, flute, violin over a calm beat. It's a beautifully put together track and something you feel like Kanye would be behind, but guess who produced it? Yup, @jcolenc produced it, wrote the verses and all, which gives more credence to why I'm such a huge buyer of his talent as a whole. He makes music, I wouldn't even call it Rap, I'd call it Hip Hop with substance and meaning. Maybe I'm reading too much into the tea leaves, but you don't see Jay-Z sticking his neck out and signing just anyone to a record deal.

I'm hoping this will act as a springboard to his studio effort in Cole World, but even if it doesn't I'm more than satisfied with the mixtape he put out. It deserves a top down listen and if you're looking for quality Hip Hop that filters out all the bullshit, giving you a glimpse an artist with a lot to talk about and who can weave together creative comparisons through his wordplay, you might end up being impressed like me...

J. Cole - Before I'm Gone
|Friday Night Lights Mixtape


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