J. Cole is the cure, Hip-Hop is the disease.
The Roc Nation artist and Jay-Z protegÃ© splashed onto the rap scene over the last year or two and has gained quite a following. His first album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, debuted at number one on the Billboard and sold over 200,000 copies in its first week despite little to no promotion. He's quickly become one of the new young faces of Hip-Hop and essentially a key figure in its future.
According to one writer, Cole actually may be Hip-Hop's last hope. The current state of Rap/Hip-Hop is one that's highly scrutinized for promoting radio hits and focusing less on lyricism. It's edge is sort of gone, and it's become too soft, or as the writer describes it, "Virtually everything I once loved about rap music was missing; rhythmically exciting drum patterns, baselines and hooks inspired by '70s soul, and a charismatic MC capable of both street toughness and thoughtfulness."
Cole is a breath of fresh air to the scene. He brings a versatile voice to the mic, in that there's a toughness about him, and his lyrics are always self-aware and reflective and give an openness to his audience. His wordplay is intriguing, but what sets him apart is his storytelling, a trait which few rappers now possess, if any. That more than anything makes Cole Hip-Hop's last hope.
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