Hip hop started out in the beginning as a movement, a movement of lifestyle,social and economical class, race and a plethora of other issues, from those who thought they weren’t being heard. It became a very big voice for those who were struggling with personal issues be it political, personal, and or within themselves. Shared versions of truth through rhyme and reason, and the undertone…healing, a call for help, an education of what is going on, for those fortunate/unfortunate enough to experience this life in time.
- Album Art from I Tunes Album Covers. Not my picture no intention of copyright infringement
With that said J.Cole’s, “COLE WORLD THE SIDELINE STORY” is a album rich with life and full of positive messages. Pain, struggle, accomplishments, thats the stuff real life is made of, what could anyone possibly want from an album. As I listen to music, I find a need to seek some type of substance, an underlying message, something to connect to rather than all the materialistic things that have claimed so many lives in today’s society. Something that was lost long ago, meaningful messages, Hip hop has become a cash cow, glamorizing the wrong messages and although all music is a story, it’s a version of some type of truth somewhere, or fantasy, some of these musicians are bojangling a little to much for me. We can’t continue to fall slave to the green paperbacks, is it not weird that we fall privy to the dead presidents… yes think about that question for a minute. I have heard countless people claim that real music doesn’t exist anymore. I must disagree and this album sets an example. Starting from the moment you press play, an inside feel for that moment of success, accomplishment and all that lies in between, sets the stage for one of my favorites “Dollar and a Dream III” (by the way if you listen to any of his mix tapes you will find the other versions I and II, which are very good introductions to having a dream and going for it) The cost of success, decisions everyone has to make to get there, sacrifices and such comes clear in this track. From friends to haters you get the whole emotional roller coaster not just for him making it to this point but think about it, what you have overcame or the decisions you are trying to make, this track in its own way gives insight on how he got through it and how you can too! or better yet just to relate to a mood or feeling you’ve been in.
Track 2: Dollar and a Dream III (click for track audio)
“never seen rich, but Ive seen po,” This track breathes perseverance, strength, determination, and that rare belief that hard work pays off. All he has is a dollar and a dream “life at the bottom, nobody but God got him they say he wouldn’t leave me but Im falling like its autumn,” thats the sound of dreams and given it all to the most high, sometimes you have to believe in something bigger than yourself to receive the strength to keep fighting. In closing the track this last verse just hit home and its something we all go through, how do you decide to let the chips fall? “What do you do when your on your last dollar, and the stress in this mess your in can make your ass holler, do you fold, grow bitter, and grow cold, no longer fighting now the only thing you grow is old, or do you flip that fuckin dollar to a dream, whether a scholar or a friend watch a pawn become a king” All I am trying to let you guys see is with this track you are on a journey, a pawn becoming king/queen. Message is never give up. Ride your one way ticket to the stop and make it happen.
Track 4: Lights Please (click track audio)
What I really like about this track is, he speaks of knowing what he wants and trying to be about something bigger. However, the sexual chemistry and feeling confuses and manipulates how we all fall in this trap of lust. When I start thinking about our youth it gives a better understanding of what our youth are facing. It sheds light on how the intimacies between two individuals is more complex than the act itself, and although I focused on the youth in this track, I understand that it is something that adults face too and how we are all unprepared at times to make the right decision when we fall victims to lust.
Track 6: Lost Ones (click for audio)
What can I say about this track, first off I think it is perfectly placed as an interlude separates this track from lights please. This comes out to the effects of falling to our lustful desires and how youth deal with an unplanned pregnancy. How the background of a individual causes us to think a certain way. How the irresponsible act for the most part makes one thinks responsible, it talks about the decision young couples have to face when one really starts to think of the consequences. It talks about the idea of abortion (not to say this is the only way out, but again one of the decisions are youth are faced with) it talks about abandonment, goals and dreams, it is a beautiful song about the trials and tribulations of youth and in this day and age something that seems to be happening often, not to many people speak about this subject and I happy that I was able to listen to this track.
Track 15: Breakdown (click for audio)
This track is heartfelt, the reunion of seeing your father for the first time after years pass. Its a shame because so many young men have to grow up without their fathers leaving mothers to do their best trying to show boys how to become men, the emotions that go through a young mans head, the feeling of wanting a father and resenting the disappearing act at the same time its crucial leaving you to breakdown. This is a must listen track for those who don’t understand the feelings of an absent father and the needs and want of a child.
These tracks are among my favorites and again I say this album has the ability to become a classic just for all the realistic issues that are being discussed. The voice that this artist represents can calm so many minds give so many strength and that is the making of a solid album to me. Yes you do have the basic tracks of fantasy and enjoyment but it is not cluttered around money, women, and all the things that fame brings, although there is a taste of that as this album is talking about a lot of subjects that we as humans and individuals face, men and women together. Below you will see a video from one of my favorite tracks as Missy Elliot is featured ( one of the most original artist out there) in the album track titled Nobody’s Perfect.
(please leave a comment and let me know what you think about J.COLE, and the Album Review)