Monday, 4 March 2013

#MixtapeMonday - J Cole: Truly Yours

Lyrics & Delivery: 4.7/ 5.0
Production: 4.7/5.0
Overall Score: 4.7/5.0

Review by MrReesh - Send me messages and discover the power of friendship via Twitter- @MrReesh

Words! I love words I’m saying some now - look! You’re reading this so you must also love words! We all love words! In fact, here’s a picture of some real life words!

I didn't say they were English words trolololol
But you know who tends to not like words these days? Rappers. Rappers hate words so much they synthesise lyrics like “p*ssy ho, p*ssy ho, she a p*ssy ho until she gives me p*ssy, ho” or “I get stacks of cash you get cashews, I go hard - statues” and of course who could forget “she got a big booty so I call her big booty”. But then come the true artists of words; those who use them skilfully to paint pictures within our minds creating lasting impressions on our memories that make us think “damn, that’s a line”. J Cole is one of those rappers, and Truly Yours is wonderful picture to behold.

The EP kicks off with Can I Holla At You, where Cole goes in to tell a story in each verse with the lyrical flair and emotional delivery reminiscent of the Friday Night Lights Cole, rather than that of the slightly predictable Cole World Cole. Set against the beat of Lauryn Hill’s To Zion, the song ends up providing a powerful start to the EP, clearly setting the standard and tone for the rest of it. To me however it’s in Crunch Time Cole reaches his lyrical apex, adequately depicting the pressure of life, hopes and aspirations during “crunch time” with an array of stunning lines which ring true for all likely to hear them “Only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin”.

He manages to maintain a similarly high standard throughout, pursuing the storyteller angle in a wonderful way in Rise Above and Stay (previously released in 2009), as well as in Tears For ODB where Cole paints a considerably bleaker image of life against a deliciously melancholy piano driven instrumental. Flow-wise the EP everything you’d expect from a more classic J Cole, simple and effective with a focus on the lyrics. THANK YOU.

The only real problem I had with Truly Yours was that sometimes the stories Cole covers feel like you’ve heard them before, e.g. the woman with a baby who’s got trouble with her man, or the guy who needs money for his kid, you know, that kind of obviously sad story. But while it feels like explored territory J Cole’s style and (if you will) VOCAL SWAGU makes it interesting to hear, and easy to hit the replay button to.

In the end Truly Yours ends up being a soul filled, soul bearing, soul train that rolls over your expectations like a Jubilee line train that says it’s going to stop at your platform but continues to roll past like say you didn’t pay £3.60 during peak times to ride it, yet leaving you with a level of sonic satisfaction from its lyrical content and instrumentals that’s truly rare to find these days. It’s an emotional, thoughtful and entertaining piece which successfully builds anticipation for his upcoming album Born Sinner, as it was designed to do. And with the impressive single Power Trip also paving that album’s way, the future looks very bright for J Cole.

Photo Credits:
Words picture "Words Cloud 09/01-15/02 2009" by GRwitters
Original OMG guys (bloody legends) "OMG" by kyle.leboeuf

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