cole“When the songs are playing I don’t want you talking about them. I want you listening to every word; I want everyone in their own world.” Born Sinner, the latest album from J Cole, clearly shows you what he meant by the above quoted words and why he insists on not talking about the songs off his album.

“Born Sinner” is easily the best hip-hop album of 2013 basing on its own merits. It went number one after three weeks and displaced Kanye West’s Yeezus from the throne… something that most critics didn’t see coming. Here are my top ten jams off the album.


1. “Born Sinner”

“This music shit is a gift, but God help us make it ’cause this music biz is a cliff,” Cole warns on the acapella choir assisted jam. It qualifies to be the number one song on the album despite it being made the last on the album… probably because he saved the best for last.


2. “Crooked Smile” feat. TLC

The second single from the album is filled with a sped-up vocal sample, bouncy piano chords and a choir.TLC’s T-Boz and Chili drop an uplifting hook in between J. Cole’s self-effacingly honest bars. It’s easy to see this song becoming Cole’s biggest pop hit yet.


3. “She Knows” feat. Amber Coffman

“I’m passing up on bad hoes trying to be what she wants” Cole says on the Amber assisted jam. It has the best “Timbaland” beats compared to the other songs on the album. Here Cole mainly focuses on the challenges of monogamy and temptation. Cole really puts in extra work to take the production beyond the usual looping rap track and transforms the jam into something bigger and more moving.


4. “Forbidden Fruit” feat. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar, non surprisingly is the album’s only rapper guest feature, but however surprisingly does more singing than spitting. The song also focuses mostly on the temptations of love and lust: “Me and my bitch / Took a little trip / Down to the garden / Took a little dip / Apple juice falling from her lips / Took a little sip.” A Kendrick verse, instead of chorus, would make it a better song to listen to.


5. “Let Nas Down”

Nas released a remix of this song titled “Made Nas Proud” in response to my fifth best song off Born Sinner. On this track, Cole recounts his struggles coming up with a good single for his first album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story” — a struggle that eventually produced Cole’s biggest hit to date, “Work Out.”

But Cole says he was crushed when he found out that one of his idols, Nas, didn’t like the song. “You made ‘You Owe Me,’ dog, I thought you could relate,” he tells Nas.


6. “Power Trip” feat. Miguel

Of course Miguel’s presence on the track is really felt with his soulful voice taking up the chorus. It was Cole’s first jam to be put out before the album release. It went as high as No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. By now I presume everyone has listened to it.


7. “Villuminati”

This is the album’s opening track with a clearly aimed warning shot. . “Sometimes I brag like Hov” J Cole continues to rap on the track. With a live choir and some samples from Notorious B.I.G. Having listened fully to the song, one can easily trace his reason for giving it the title Villuminati.


8. “Trouble”

Also featuring a choir, “Trouble” takes up the number 8 spot among the top songs off Cole’s album. He also goes dark on the song as the choir takes over the chorus with their powerful vocals. The song also like most of the rest on the album attempts to address more temptations as quoted “Liquor all on my breath, bitches all in my sight.”


9. “Rich Ni–az”

J Cole here tells his story of poverty and hustled success. He clearly shows you that success is his mission, but he doesn’t want to sell his soul for it. The song begins with a sound of running water as he later raps about his mom being on his side while his dad wasn’t around for him.


10. “Runaway”

Closing the top ten jams off the album is “Runaway,” the only jam where Cole talks about his relationship troubles. “You don’t wanna let her down but you’re too young for the settle down.” He raps about as trying to be good to his girl but isn’t succeeding. Shockingly Cole continues to divert us to a perverted high school coach and how rape during slavery affected his grandmother. The electric guitars can’t go unnoticed on the track.

The other remaining six tracks of the album also qualify to be in the top ten as per different opinions.


Posted by John Grace

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Author: Moses Echodu

Moses is a Ugandan writer and blogger. Studied information technology with major interests in Journalism.He is passionate about sports but at times ventures into other fields

Follow me on Twitter @mechodu EchoduEntertainmentMusicBlog,Entertainment,Music'When the songs are playing I don't want you talking about them. I want you listening to every word; I want everyone in their own world.' Born Sinner, the latest album from J Cole, clearly shows you what he meant by the above quoted words and why he insists on not...People Media