Legacy Track of the Week: J Cole - Foldin Clothes
“I wanna fold clothes for you, I wanna make you feel good, baby I wanna do the right thing...feels so much better than the wrong thing” Produced by J Cole himself this one is an experience… a rap song about folding clothes… and somehow it’s got more life to it than a typical street record or a standard club anthem - it’s simply more genuine than that - and for that reason it feels better and it’s absolutely more fun… this is the jammmm 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 which can definitely cross over to different genres with a dynamic bass line (most likely provided by accredited Steve Lacy of the Internet) and classic Cole raps that range from his carefree Raisin Bran/Almond Milk raps to the more introspective “***** from the hood are the best actors” scheme that’s flawlessly placed in the outro, altogether making it the most memorable (and creative) record off the brand new album.
J Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only
“He said, ‘Listen, I got no time to dive into descriptions, but I've been having premonitions, just call it visions from the other side, I got a feeling I won't see tomorrow, like the time I'm living on is borrowed, with that said, the only thing I'm proud to say I was a father, write my story down and if I pass go play it for my daughter, when she ready", and so I'm leaving you this record for your eyes only, don't you ever scratch or disrespect it, this perspective is a real one, another lost 'Ville son, I dedicate these words to you and all the other children” Although there have been great storytellers in Hip Hop’s past (Nas, Jay, Big, Pac, Slick Rick to name a few), add J Cole’s name to that list as all nostalgia aside he is definitely on that same level, where by all accounts his pen is so descriptive that he’s undoubtedly the best author in the game. Charles Dickens level… timeless music… real stories in real poetry and these words should be remembered forever. Unlocked from the hard drive like valuable jewels 💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎💎
J Cole - Change
“yeah my chosen religion, Jesus piece frozen from sinnin', doin' dirt hoping to God he know my intentions” First of all this reminds me of 2pac right out the gate, and with that in mind what else needs to be said? Question though, why aren’t more young artists inspired by the most iconic MC of all time? Either way that’s all the more respect due to J Cole for being reminiscent of that classic feel, where on this particular record he floats on the first three verses that are right on time (considering this is the first time he truly snaps on the new album from a pure rapping perspective), and on the last two verses he paints the picture of the album more clearly - illustrating the final moments of a man named James McMillan - a man that was slain in a drive by shooting in Greensboro, North Carolina earlier this year - whom Cole seemingly dedicates the album to along with his daughter - who Cole poignantly speaks to on the title track featured above.
J Cole - Neighbors
“I don't want no picture with the president, I just wanna talk to the man” could be a shot at all the MCs who went to the White House to put it on the Gram, either way an underrated storyline is Cole’s consistency in his critique of President Obama, as unlike his peers who are only inclined and equipped to offer unanimous praise - Cole notably offered a more balanced perspective in his groundbreaking Letterman performance, all the while maintaining a skepticism of the political system in general - keeping in mind the perks of his own professional relationships pales in comparison to the responsibility he has to truly speak on humanity. Thus leading to the true purpose this record… J Cole’s neighbors in the suburbs of North Carolina really called the Swat Team on his studio this past year… smh that actually happened… but at least it spawned some great music...
J Cole - She’s Mine Pt 2
“That’s the ego taking credit for what God made, fuck this album shit, hey mama look what God made” Dedicated to his newborn daughter this record is a continuation of She’s Mine Pt 1 dedicated to his wife, his highschool sweetheart who gave birth to their baby girl apparently a day before the new album was released. That’s good timing to say the least, and the music is from the heart and it’s perfect, which produced by Cole contains a medley of different instrumentation (a process seen in great detail in the album documentary released last week), and based on the sheer meaning of the content may be his most significant record to date. If you’ve listened to J Cole from the Come Up / Warm Up era then you know this feeling of joy was a long time coming… and for that reason this one will be preserved over time as a defining moment of one the greatest artists to ever share his life through music.
Ab Soul - Threatening Nature
“Way back when I was in grade school, I learned about history, but what about her story—did anybody ask? Hm, with all disrespect, I think the American flag was designed by fags” Ab Soul challenges not only the system of government in this record, but more specifically it’s allegiance to Christian faith which he openly objects to and for good reason, nonetheless it’s one of the most memorable verses aimed at religion by a rapper since Prodigy on Mobb Deep’s Pearly Gates. The record opens up with the biblical children’s song made famous from Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, and it sets the tone for one of the most significant Hip Hop records in recent time.
Ab Soul ft Da$h - Huey Knew THEN
"This is a story all about how, my life got flipped turned upside down, and if you roll another blunt and keep your mouth shut, I'll tell you how I became the wicked ***** they call Young Mind Fuck” On the intro to the first single of Do What Thou Wilt, Ab Soul flips the 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' to great results, followed by “I hope I’m In Obama’s IPod…” which coming from Soul is both realistic and comical at the same time.
Ab Soul - Womanogamy
“Look, I got two baby mommas, but I ain't got no kids, nah I'm fucking with you, them my lesbian friends” Produced by Mike WIll Made It this is actually one of the smoothest records on the album… at times humorous at times thought provoking and at all times good for the vibe...
Ab Soul - Raw (Backwards)
“What’s happening? Another baptism by Pastor Black Lip” The intro to Ab Soul’s fourth studio album and debut on Interscope Records is definitely an accurate portrayal of what comes behind it, which is one of the most eccentric albums - both musically and lyrically - to come out this year.
Ab Soul - YMF
“Cause I'm a liar, a cheater, a devil in disguise and a deceiver, if I was you and you was me, I wouldn't believe you” Abbreviated from the term ‘Young Mind Fuck’ and encompassing a few of the concepts and ideas scattered throughout the new album, this one serves it’s purpose as a solid outro to a very ambitious and socially conscious 16 track experience.
The Dream - Lemon Lean
“Say ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh” The best record off the Dream’s new Love You To Death EP will not be on his Greatest Hits cd one day, but nonetheless it’s still the best of the new records, which all ultimately fall well short of the records on the Crown Jewel album that leaked last Spring and were never officially released. The Dream never spoke publicly about those 10 records that apparently were never supposed to see the light of day, but nonetheless that was the best Dream album since Love King, and if you’re a Dream fan it’s absolutely mandatory to have that ‘classic that never was’ in your catalogue.
The Dream - Madness
“This is ultra super random, but I want to know if you're busy tonight, girl we're like Susan Sarandon, girl we go back, let's go back like the old times” this one is regular by Dream standards but still one of the better records off the new release.
Lloyd - Tru
“This is me so please accept me for who I am, and please accept me for what I do, I'm just doing everything that I can, cause all I wanna be is true…” The title track, as well as the entirety of the Tru EP, is pure r&b and it’s flames - on this record he addresses transitioning from the Murder Inc period while making it clear he’s still one of the elite talents in the genre.
Lloyd - Excited
“You can bounce back, roll on it, ride on it baby, the way I like, (Just the way I like it), tell me how low, can you go, on it when you grinding on me baby, I'm so excited (oh I'm so excited baby)...” Written by Lloyd himself this one is nothing short of a hit record and you can never tell me otherwise.
Lloyd - Heavenly Body
"Took you out the ghetto got you sleeping on the beach, love the hood but gotta keep you out these suckas reach” Ross lends Lloyd a smooth 10 bars and Lloyd does what Lloyd does best… not mad at this one
Lalah Hathaway & Pharrell - Surrender
“I was down on myself, and I called you, and your answer is ‘what can I do?’.. so much you do for me...” Written and produced by Skateboard P he was in his bag for the Hidden Figures movie soundtrack and sung by the late Donny Hathaway’s daughter this is one of the best on the project.
Janelle Monae - Isn’t This The World
"What we gotta do, me and you, we have to change our selfish ways, no matter who else does, we have to rise, rise above, come together in love...but isn't this the world?... the place that we call home, home...but if this is the world...then why do I feel alone?" Written and produced Chad Hugo and Pharrell (N.E.R.D.) this song is a complete masterpiece, nothing less… add this to one of the many hidden gems in Janelle Monae’s catalogue.