J. Cole - Before I’m Gone
No matter how much praise J. Cole receives from his peers, how many verses he bodies on a weekly basis (ex. Looking for Trouble), or how having Hova and Roc Nation in his corner could go to his head, he still rhymes like the hungriest of MCs. I’ve yet to hear a verse that made me think “wow, he really slacked off there.” The first leak off of his upcoming and highly anticipated Friday Night Lights mixtape is no exception. On the self-produced Before I’m Gone, Cole lays down a simultaneously beautiful and hard beat and then walks us through his coming of age in Fayetteville, NC, while also addressing the misconceptions of him as the hometown rep, spittin’ “Them old n*ggas sayin’ ‘Cole the wrong one bringing the city shine/all he ever doing is paintin’ pictures of crime/tellin stories of pain, paintin’ pictures of dope’/ B*tch, if you listenin’, I’m paintin’ pictures of hope.” Friday Night Lights will be available, of course, this Friday, Nov. 12, and if Gone is any indication, it’ll definitely be a Cole World when his debut album (hopefully) drops early next year.