J.Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story Review

A very short build up for the album. Just J.Cole and some friends in the studio and somebody basically wants to hear how Cole got his deal, then it kind of fades from there.

Dollar and A Dream III

The intro of this song sounds so epic. The way the strings elegantly build and flow with the bass and drums is soothing. The mood of the song is very serious. This song especially gives you the feeling that you get when you listen to that The Warm Up tape but it’s a little more developed. The song kind of loses it’s mysterious feel whenever the strings fade out of the beat. Cole mostly raps about his motivations and what he’s about. Nice sample

Can’t Get Enough feat. Trey Songz

Lights Please
Do I really need to elaborate on this classic track? This track is the song that basically put J.Cole on and Jay-Z felt it. 100% Real. The instrumental was altered a bit, with the drops. Cole may have spit his verses over but for the most part it strongly resembles the original.


Starts out on some Musiq Soulchild type of sound. I like the story J.Cole told here. The irony of it lol. Peep the noises in the background.

Sideline Story
A hell storm of punchlines and witty metaphors. I like how he spoke from the perspective of Coretta Scott King when Martin Luther King Jr was out on the road and gone for days, Cole>Average MC. Cole spits about representing and his drive to be successful. This song sounds like it could have been on The Come Up.

Mr. Nice Watch feat. Jay-Z
Well then the album switches to this type of ish. I like the drop during the chorus but as for the verses, J.Cole doesn’t sound at home on the production even though he produced it. Maybe this track could have been used on Watch The Throne. It’s got the TRON feel to it, I wonder what inspired J.Cole to make it. Jay-Z comes in and just spits. “I’m 7:30, yall know where yall gonna wind up?“. When the beat sped up I thought Jay was gonna lose it and go earlier 90’s Jigga on us but nah he kept his composure. This is not the best track from either of the 2 artists and it’s not the worst either.

Cole World
I don’t know why I got the feeling that this song was a continuation of the previous track, but it’s got that feel. I heard J.Cole spit that 1st verse somewhere else before, maybe acapella or something. This song has quite a bit of energy, I would have to say that the chorus is the standout part of the song, but I’ll let you be the judge whenever you cop the album.

In The Morning feat. Drake
Straight off the Friday Nights Mixtape. If you haven’t heard this song, you should probably slap yourself, then ask your friend to slap you as well. Drake comes in and spits in a lursty manner, as usual. I prefer the original version of the song but you really can’t complain. The beat is on point and the verses are above subpar, especially J.Cole’s last verse. “I’m learning not to judge a woman by the sh$t that she wear, therefore you shouldn’t judge a n%#@a by the sh#t that you hear“. I concur

Lost Ones

Now this is that pure Cole. Str8 raw. The relevance of the subject matter of the song is second to none. Not too many artists can represent emotion audibly like Cole can. This kind of reminds me of Lupe’s “He Say She Say” with J.Cole presenting a conflicting situation. I believe that years from now after people have become accustomed to J.Cole, they will look back and this track will be a great representation of his unique work. Produced by Cole himself, smh. On the rough version of the song, there wasn’t the live instruments but now, smh, the additional effort works well.

Nobody’s Perfect feat. Missy Elliot
This track is definitely inspired by them old Timbaland & Missy tracks. The bass is just right on this track. Missy conquers the hook and the bridge. This song is very easy to listen to. J.Cole is clever with how he presents his verse on this song. This song will definitely stay on my ipod for a while.

Never Told
No I.D. on the production tip! I guess you can classify this song as one of those types of tracks that J.Cole harmonizes on. The excerpt is excellent, it’s about the knowledge a young man receives. “who wanna build? Noah’s Ark, just to have that sh%t torn apart” lol The way they just let the beat play with the vocalist relaxing on it is so pure. Another easy listen.

Rise and Shine
LOL that Money, Cash, Hoes playing at the beginning with that Jigga interview excerpt. GOODNESS then that sample comes in and I promise you that your chest will start to move. Alchemist used the same sample in the Intro to his 1st Infantry album. This song represents vengeance and ambition. “if this sh%t ain’t fire then ni^$%a why you nodding with it?

Cole World: The Sideline Story from Jermaine Cole on Vimeo.

God’s Gift
Pretty Decent Sample

The song is not that great to me. Skippable

Straight up FruitiLoop sample. Smh. I like what J.Cole tried to do with the track by rhyming about his relationships. The subject matter is down to earth. I enjoy the chorus tho! I also appreciate how Cole lets the beat play out at the end of the song.

The homie Satch reviewed this earlier, peep

At the end of the day I am satisfied with the content presented on the album. The flow from track to track wasn’t overdone and the chosen material was pretty good. I expected more of the J.Cole that I heard on The Warm Up. There were a few good examples that showed what kind of artist J.Cole truly is. I feel that if he didn’t produce the majority of his album then he could have had a true classic on his hands and focused more on the complexity of his songs. Subject matter was key on this album, very humbling experiences. I felt that some of J.Cole’s album had that video game feel to it and the rest of the album was truly J.Cole. I need a few more listens to really decide if I’m truly satisfied with the album or if I’m disappointed. J.Cole thx for properly reppin for NC!
Overall Rating: 7.8/10
Top 3 Fav Songs: Lost Ones, Dollar and A Dream III, & Nobody’s Perfect

2 thoughts on “J.Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story Review

  1. Rise and Shine is one of the hardest tracks he’s ever dropped, lyrically it’s dare I say, FLAWLESS!
    Here’s some of my favorite lines:
    But the ones you thought would save today, cant even tie my boots
    The boys you thought could hang wit me’, cant even tie my noose…(ugh!)

    if this sh%t ain’t fire then ni^$%a why you nodding with it?“
    That hate in you blood can’t stop yo soul from vibin wit it… (REALLY??? )

  2. The strongest tracks on the album are Never told, Sideline story, and Rise and shine. Classic Cole production and rhyming. The other tracks are either weak (Mr.nice watch, coleworld) or from earlier mixtapes (Lights please, in the morning). All in all the album is ok but in some aspects its a bit over-hyped. I am not saying he is a terrible MC, In fact he is one of my favorites out right now, but the album could have been stronger.

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