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Jermaine Cole’s Redemption.
Jermaine, or J Cole to the rest of us, has been hailed as the next Nas, the next Pac, the next game-changing ghetto poet.
Whether or not you agree with those comparisons, you can’t deny they exist. And after incredibly successful mixtapes – notably The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights – this producer-rapper, who was signed by Jay-Z, has immense pressure on his shoulders.
His debut album, Coleworld: The Sideline Story was good, but didn’t help him to live up to the comparisons. So weak was one of the singles on that album that J Cole’s idol, Nas, said he was disappointed in him. That revelation inspired the brilliant J Cole-produced Let Nas Down.
In addition to that ditty is the heartfelt Crooked Smile – featuring TLC – in which J Cole raps: “We ain’t picture-perfect, but we worth the picture still.”
This second album finds J Cole reflecting on his beliefs, being fallible, and attempting to navigate the world of fame and fortune without losing himself – and all of that is enough redemption after the first album. – Helen Herimbi