Last night J. Cole invited a limited amount of media to preview songs that will be featured on his forthcoming debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story before he goes on tour. (Check tour dates below)
This track list is not final nor are the song titles so he asked that we not reveal them (although I did keep in the mixtape tracks and singles that we know about) but this is the order in which he played them for us and my commentary on each track.
1. Could have been great into song if it wasn’t so long. A revisit of an old track that definitely sets a great tone for the album but not as good as the original so should have been left to just an intro.
2. Felt like an updated version of Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up.” He even pays homage to his mom like Tupac did. I love this record.
3. Work Out – I still don’t like this record and feel that out of all songs of Kanye West’s to sample that this was the worst choice ever.
4. The beat is so hard. I didn’t even know J. Cole had these production skills in him. So powerful his vocals get lost in the first verse but he recovers tremendously in the second verse. I definitely hear a Maybach Music remix for this record.
5. Lights Please (He introduced this as his introduction to the world and although fans have had it for a long time, understand why it needs to be on his debut as well.)
6. Just when I thought the marching band sound had been exhausted, here comes Jermaine to make me fall in love with it again. This joint goes hard!
7. J. Cole named this joint his favorite on the album. He compares life to quick sand.
8. Skit that reflects on the night he got signed.
9. A more sophisticate “song for the haters.” No soul clapping needed or catchy hook. Just straight spitting. A hip hop diary of sorts and prelude to the future.
10. This is the type of track he had to make to shut up the naysayers and he delivers. Dope!
11.In The Morning featuring Drake (I still love this record!)
12.A hip hop soul throwback to the 90s with a feature that he swore everyone in the room to secrecy not to reveal. Definitely one of my favorite tracks and the type of record we haven’t heard from Jermaine before.
13. Lost Ones – a joint that leaked a couple months ago about abortion.
14. Can’t Get Enough featuring Trey Songz – another joint that leaked prematurely but I love this record and am happy is will be the next single. This is the radio friendly record he needs right now.
15.The track for the ladies about having a broken heart. Both parties working hard to make it work but realizing it might be something they just have to let go.
16.A joint produced by No ID
17. The track that wasn’t finished because he’s waiting on the 3rd verse. The verse that he hopes will be filled by Jay-Z.
Surprisingly Cole produced the majority of the album. I don’t necessarily think this was the smartest thing to do for a debut album, even though I was pleasantly surprised at some of the tracks that he modestly told us he produced. You can definitely tell that he has really honed the craft of being a producer and gotten a lot better but there are other things working with other producers could have brought out in him that would have filled the void with the “blown away” factor that the album is lacking. Plus having other producers gets them just as excited about the project as you are which brings more buzz. What ever happened to him and 9th Wonder working together? And although he produced some beats that bang, I would love to hear him on something that would blow your speakers out from a Hit-boy or Lex Luger . He also only has 1 track for the ladies. He should have reached out to Jerry Wonda for 1 more joint.
Although I love the album because it is consistent with what he has given us via his mixtapes the past couple of years all while showing his growth, I don’t think the album is dynamic enough to silence the haters. I’ll guess we’ll have to wait until September 27th to see if they get louder or finally shut up.
COLE WORLD…WORLD TOUR
August 23rd Vancouver, BC (Vogue)
August 25th Edmonton, AB (Edmonton Events Centre)
August 27th Calgary, AB (Flames Central)
August 30th Saskatoon, SK (Odeon Theatre)
August 31st Winnipeg, MB (Garrick Center)
September 3rd Toronto, ON (Sound Academy)
September 6th London, ON (Music Hall London)
September 7th Montreal, QC (Club Soda)
September 10th Orlando, FL (The Beacham Theatre)
September 11th Miami, FL (Revolutions)
September 14th Houston, TX (Warehouse Live)
September 15th New Orleans, LA (House of Blues)
September 16th Dallas, TX (Southside Music Hall)
September 17th Austin, TX (Emos)
September 19th Denver, CO (The Ogden)
September 20th Albuquerque, NM (Sunshine Theater)
September 21st Phoenix, AZ (The Venue)
September 22nd Los Angeles, CA (Club Nokia)
September 23rd San Francisco, CA (Regency)
September 29th Winston Salem, NC (Winston Salem State University)
October 2nd Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)
October 4th Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
October 6th Kalamazoo, MI (Kalamazoo State Theatre)
October 7th Detroit, MI (Royal Oak)
October 8th Milwaukee, WI (The Rave)
October 9th Chicago, IL (House of Blues)
October 12th Philadelphia, PA (Electric Factory)
October 13th Charlotte, NC (Fillmore)
October 14th Norfolk, VA (Old Dominion University)
October 15th Elizabeth City, NC (Elizabeth City State University)
October 16th Myrtle Beach, SC (House of Blues)
October 19th Washington, DC (Fillmore)
October 20th Baltimore, MD (Sound Stage)
October 21st Albany, NY (Armory)
October 22nd Worcester, MA (Palladium)
October 23rd Providence, RI (Lupo’s)
October 25th New York, NY (Best Buy Theatre)
Following his US stint he will be opening up for Tinie Tempah overeseas.
October 31st Liverpool, UK (Echo Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 1st New Castle, UK (Metro Radio Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 2nd Glasgow, UK (SECC/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 4th London, UK (O2 Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 5th Bournemouth, UK (BIC/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 6th Birmingham, UK (LG Arena/TinieTempah UK Arena Tour)
November 7th Manchester, UK (MEN Arena/Tinie Tempah UK Arena Tour)
November 8th Cardiff, UK (Motorpoint Arena/ Tinie Tempah UK Arena Tour)
November 11th London, UK (Electric Ballroom)
November 12th Birmingham, UK (Institute)
November 13th Cardiff, UK (Solus)
November 14th South Hampton, UK (University)
November 17th Glasgow, UK (ABC)
November 18th Liverpool, UK (Academy)
November 19th Sheffield, UK (Academy)
November 20th Manchester, UK (Academy 2)
November 22nd Cambridge, UK (Junction)
November 24th Bristol, UK (Academy)
November 26th Norway (Waterfront / UEA)
November 30th Brussels, Belgium (VK*)
December 1st Amsterdam, Holland (Melkweg)
December 2nd Germany (TBD)
December 3rd Copenhagen, Denmark (VEGA)
December 4th Malmo, Sweden (Babel)
December 6th Gothenburg, Sweden (Parken)
December 7th Stockholm, Sweden (Nalen)
December 8th Oslo, Norway (Rockefeller)
December 10th Berlin, Germany (TBD)
December 12th Paris, France (La Cigale)