Monday, October 12, 2009

Mix Monday 31

This week’s Mix Monday is a slightly different flavour with a mixtape from the North Carolina born and bred rapper J Cole. This is real hip hop. Currently the hip hop scene at crossroads. With shrinking budgets, music executives, resting on their laurels, search out the next YouTube sensation with a catchy hook and dance move in order to amass digital single sales. While many artists have tried to break through despite an industry melt down, few have been met with critical praise. Looking to succeed where his contemporaries have failed, J Cole (born Jermaine Cole) brings promise of a new day in hip hop music.

It's been said that the 'golden days' of hip hop are long gone and not coming back. This is a statement that I have tried to deny although it seems increasingly true with the motives and in turn music that is being placed in front of us. Well J Cole is something different. He's not about making a quick buck, rather taking time and effort to get to where he wants and plans to keep going. After two mixtapes J Cole is now the first sign-ee of Jay-Z's brand new record Label, Roc Nation. If that's not a big deal I don't know what is.

The first mixtape, The Come Up, was released in 2007 and with J Cole now living in New York he began to get noticed. He rapped over old classic hip hop beats that had influenced him while also making his own music from scratch. He is a true lyricist saying that his biggest influence would have to be Tupac for his content but lyrically he admired and studied the likes of Master P, Nas, Eminem, Canibus, Royce, Jay-Z and Biggie. Two years (March 2009) later he dropped The Warm Up and then got signed by the Jigga man. Big stuff. He featured on Jay-Z most release studio release The Blueprint 3. This is the mixtape that got him signed.

The Warm Up (Mixtape) - J Cole


1. Intro (The Warm Up)
2. Welcome
3. Can I Live*
4. Grown Simba
5. Just To Get By
6. Lights Please
7. Dead Presidents II
8. I Get Up
9. World Is Empty
10. Dreams ft. Brandon Hines
11. Royal Flush
12. Dollar and a Dream II
13. Water Break (Interlude)
14. Heartache**
15. Get Away
16. Knock Knock
17. Ladies ft. Lee Fields and The Expressions
18. Til’ Infinity
19. The Badness ft. Omen
20. Hold It Down
21. Last Call
22. Losing My Balance

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