Wednesday, October 26, 2011

J Cole - not just a pair of hairy eyebrows

J Cole... J Cole... J Cole... I know I've heard that name somewhere. Born in Germany, raised in North Carolina, he's been hanging around the outskirts of the music industry since 2007, flashing those freakishly hairy eyebrows at any passing R&B track with 16 bars to spare for a guest rap.

So far, he's turned up on tracks by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Trey Songz, WALE and Beyonce, but his solo career has burned slower than a candle in a vacuum. Until, that is, his debut album (actually his fourth album, but his record company isn't going to be swayed by something as insignificant as facts) went straight to number one in the US - selling 217,000 copies in a week. That's a lot, apparently.


:: It is called Cole World: The Sideline Story

:: Rejected titles included Cole Of Duty: Modern Warfare, At The Cole Face, Baby It's Cole Outside

:: Jermaine says, confusingly, that the 15 tracks on the CD "represent all the songs that aren't even on this album".

:: The single Work Out samples Paula Abdul's Straight Up.

:: He describes the sensitive lyrics as "from-the-heart shit", which is an evocative turn of phrase, don't you think?

One of the stand-out tracks on Cole World is called Lost Ones. It's a mini melodrama, about a young couple in their early 20s who accidentally fall pregnant, and their arguments over abortion.

Cole describes it as follows: "This explores pregnancy from all sides. The male perspective on the first verse, diving into the female perspective on the second, and on the third verse I'm kind of writing in the third person, telling the story from both sides. It's one of my favourites. I've been holding onto that song for four years, waiting for this album to come out."

Indeed, Cole even made a video for the song, long before he got signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label. Starring the young rapper, his eyebrows and actress Antoinette Lenae, he posted it on YouTube last night. Have a look - it's moving stuff.

J Cole - Lost Ones

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