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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In [HEAVY] Rotation

Remember how you felt when you first heard Yeezy on College Dropout?

I do. Every track made me shiver. I couldn't wait to quote every line on my facebook myspace page.

It's funny to me that Cole fashion's himself after Jay-Z. Not to say, I disagree, but his talent, his hunger, and his ambition reminds me more of a young Kanye, before the celebrity and the white women.

When I first listened to the leak of Cole World: A Sideline Story (yea, yea, yea, I know, I should have waited), I got the same feeling as I did as 10th grader listening to Kanye for the first time. Dopeness.

The fear I had for Cole was the same as the fear that was fulfilled by Drake. Will his album live up to his mixtapes? Where Drake failed, J. Cole has succeeded.

"This is for all the fans that waited. Bitch niggas that hated. Old hoes we dated. Look mama, we made it." - "Nobody's Perfect"

J Cole is the competition. His story telling is phenomenal and Cole World put it on exhibit.

As a producer he is extremely talented, not the best, but he's coming for the greats. Yea, he's drum kits are kinda similar on a few tracks, but he has regal sound to his beats that I haven't heard from many producers today.

From the intro track, Cole leads you through his "signing day" story in a very Kanye-esq fashion, which contributes to the overall message of the joint. From the sideline to the spotlight.

The only major problems I have with Cole's album (and this is probably my own fault for listening to the leak) are the missing tracks.

When I purchased my hard copy on Cole World, I was shocked to see that my favorite song from the leak "Daddy's Little Girls" was left off the album. I personally wish, Cole would have saved some of his mixtapes for the actual album (i.e. Who Dat, Bring Em In).

You of little faith should not be distracted by the familiarity of some of the songs on the track list for Cole World. Yes, "Lights Please", "In the Morning" and "Lost Ones" have found their way from the mixtapes to the official release. And you die hard Cole fans will be may not be happy to see Jermaine's more commercial track "Work Out" was included as bonus track. Nevertheless, the CD is solid.

J. Cole wasn't too thirsty for features on his solo project, like other artist seem to be on their freshmen joint. His lyricism stands alone. You can distinctly identify a Cole track, unlike Drake who let everybody and their mama lead adlibs on Thank Me Later.

But back to the topic at hand. The award for best feature is goes to Missy Elliot on "Nobody's Perfect". This joint is very reminiscent of my favorite track from Friday Night Light, "Best Friends". Missy came for vengeance on the hook. The shit is disgusting.

I have to say Hov left Jermaine hanging on this album. His feature on "Mr. Nice Watch" isn't quite single worthy. His best contribution to the album was not his verse, but his appearance on the "Rise & Shine" interlude. But Young Simba doesn't seem to be bother by it.

"I made it to the roc, even though they tried to box me out
I got the key to the game, they tried to lock me out
But what they don't understand is this is all plan
It's a bigger picture and you can't photoshop me out
Some nigga ask me why jay never shout me out
Like I'm supposed to give a fuck " - Sideline Story

Overall, Cole World: A Sideline Story is probably the best freshmen project I've heard in a long time. J. Cole is beating out Big Sean, Drake & Wale as far as freshmen LPs are concerned. I'm ready to sit back and watch this pawn become a king. Cole World.

My favorite tracks

Nobody's Perfect
Cole World
Rise & Shine
Can't Get Enough (second single)
Daddy's Little Girl (itunes bonus)

Monday, June 27, 2011

An Epigraph

So easily we fall into the depths of ourselves
Drowned by tears of self-loathing
Weakened by the blood of personal iniquity
Chilled by the breeze of our passionless journey
Suffocated by the flames of our infinite anger
So easily we die to ourselves
No resurrection day for poor me
Forever in our grave clothes
Mummified and laid on an altar of an egotism
Dead is the man we once knew
Until the day we are born a new
We must die daily to ourselves

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Artistic Woes: Fear

''The black artist is dangerous. Black art controls the "Negro's" reality, negates negative influences, and creates positive images.'' – Sonia Sanchez

Creativity to an artist is both a gift and burden. While we are blessed with the talent to radically impact the status quo, we are obligated to be equally innovative and revolutionary in our impact. If your work is not different, you have failed to complete your creative burden. And I think for this very reason is why I’ve take such a sabbatical from writing.

The greater fear for me, as Marianne Williamson would say, is not being inadequate, but is being powerful beyond measure. Because I understand the magnitude of influence that any artist has, I have grown leery of the pen and paper. I want to be responsible for the definitive work. I don’t want my generational legacy to be that of a Travis Porter who will forever be known in history as the one who “made it rain trick”.

But I refuse to allow fear to stagnate my potential of greatness, because the definitive work does not come easy. It must be sought out. So I’m mentally preparing myself to lace of my metaphoric shoes, and chase the possibilities of my craft and fulfill my creative burden.

These are the woes of an artist.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

..join the movement

[Arrogant Resolutions] #1: Mythbusters: “N*ggas Ain’t Sh*t

Arrogant Resolution #1: Mythbusters: “N*ggas Ain’t Sh*t

I’m sorry to break the news to all the women who have grown up believe this principle but it is definitely a myth.

I never had a “niggas ain’t shit” moment until I allowed myself to be treated like I wasn’t shit. You may not believe this, but it is scientific fact, the law of attraction is very real. Psychologically, you have accepted being lesser than your actual worth, and so you begin to attract people who treat to you accordingly. This rule doesn’t just apply to dating, but it applies to all the people who are around you. The value you put on yourself is in direct correlation with the people in your life. You are around “not shit” people because you accept it.

If you grow complacent and accept that you have mediocre friends, you will always have mediocre friends. If you accept that you always have unsuccessful relationships, you will always have unsuccessful relationships. It is not until you challenge yourself and decide that you want more, that more will come to you.

So in 2011, I challenge you to resolve to hold yourself at a higher standard. Do not accept people into your life who treat you like less than you are worth and don’t continue to give your all to people who are giving back into your life.

Try this: Make a list of the character traits you want in friends, business acquaintances, and a significant other. Stray away from “I want a 6 foot 7 stallion” but focus more on qualities like being dependable, and ambitious. And make a conscious decision to distance yourself from people who don’t have those qualities. I promise that if you believe that you deserve these sort of people in your life, they will begin to come to you.

Make an Arrogant Resolution in 2011.

Friday, January 7, 2011

When Confidence Is Not Enough: Arrogant Images 2011

Excellence is the ability to perform at a high level over and over again.
- Shawn Corey Carter

In 2011, I've resolved to push my creativity and increase my hustle. Ambition is nothing without drive. #NoDaysoff

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