Hours away from the release of his eighth studio album, Pressure, Jeezy has dropped off what is likely the most anticipated track on the project: “American Dream,” featuring Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole.
“American Dream” is a great song. Let’s get that bit of commentary out of the way.
Jeezy comes off as the mean hustler, right in his pocket, while Kendrick revives some of his best flows off DAMN. with a grittier edge. And then there's J. Cole.
Cole’s verse is laced with a fire that has been consistently absent from his music post-The Sideline Story, if not back even further. While there are similarly spirited moments on his most recent album, 4 Your Eyez Only, it’s been far too long since we’ve heard J. Cole this hungry.
I’d like to believe that J. Cole is entering a renaissance period and that by mid-2018 we will have his magnum opus in our hands, but it's far more likely that Kendrick’s presence on the record played a larger role on this incredibly-delivered feature. Whether Cole has grown too comfortable or doesn’t feel challenged in the same way he once did, sharing the spotlight with Lamar forced Cole out of his sleepy funk.
As much as we'd all love to believe this collaboration is a sign that the pair's long-anticipated joint album will eventually arrive, and if this is what Cole sounds like sharing the court with Kendrick it's no wonder the rumors have never ended, a Kendrick and Cole project probably exists only in the same alternate reality as a new OutKast record, Andre 3000’s solo record, and whatever it is we’re hoping Dr. Dre drops before his career ends.
But hey, it's good to (American) dream.