EP Review: J.Cole – Truly Yours
J.Cole – Truly Yours
Day & A Dream Rating: 4.0 out of 5
As a fan, you openly root for certain artists to make it. You blindly forgive their mistakes and shortcomings and build up enough of a wall to block out everybody else saying otherwise. In this regard, J.Cole has to be a fan of his own work. Consider this, in 2011 the world anticipated his debut disc Cole World: The Sideline Story and it went gold, good enough for a seat at the table and recognition beyond his work in mixtapes.
Yet, there’s a monotony that builds with Cole on every release – a more conversational delivery with slow, piano & drum driven production. To some there’s nothing that elevates him above a certain class and to others, there’s the sort of college kid finally succeeding mantra that Kanye West went to bat with that just sticks. That Cole is the one who flirts with inner monologues a plenty on Truly Yours, an EP that operates without a concept but all of the good things Cole can do behind the microphone.
Cole lifts Lauryn Hill’s “To Zion” for the EP opener “Can I Holla At Ya,” where he openly meshes the mindset of 2Pac’s “Against All Odds” with his still-open wounds about his relationship with his father. Cole resurrects his third-eye view on relationships with “Rise Above,” almost recalling every pain exhibited on “Lost Ones” and understands the best of Cole comes when he’s vulnerable. He doesn’t want to be known as the guy with “witty metaphors” as he laments on “Tears For ODB” but all of this material, including the L.A. Carnival sampling ‘Seven Steps To Nowhere’ for “Stay” feels exactly like how we remembered Cole on Friday Night Lights, the one who felt the only thing he had to prove was that he could rap and tell a story and not submit to the recycled notions that every big rap album must stick to the mandate laid out and recycled by Diddy & the brains behind Ready To Die, appeal to all.
Born Sinner is going to be Cole at his experimental, where cuts like “Power Trip” with Miguel will flourish in-between what he’s viewed before with Kendrick Lamar’s debut. Most might believe Cole will stick to his guns but at this point – Cole’s operating with freedom and if these moments are relaxed, album Cole might finally gain footing with his detractors. Maybe.