I’d like to consider myself a loyal person. Although I’d never wear Beyoncé‘s House of Dereon — ever — I’ll still defend her greatness amongst a groups of those who bash her greatness. While Twitter went rampant with disses to Frank Ocean after his debut Grammy performance, I made sure to assert that he’s never been a Marvin Gaye with the vocals, but his music itself it still just that great. But when it came to J. Cole, something shifted ever so lightly… until this.
Let me preface this by saying that Cole is on my list and has been since I discovered him in 2010 — it was my first summer in New York City and a The Come Up x The Warm Up mix pulled me through. But as tracks from his debut album, Cole World: Sideline Story, were replaced by newer (and sometimes better) singles, Cole weaved in and out of my starting line up. And, being the attention-avoiding rapper that he is (which can be a good and bad), I sought a musical escape elsewhere. Enter my appreciation for Cali kid Kendrick Lamar… but I digress.
The point is that it’s been over a year between the release of Sideline Story and Cole’s new EP Truly Yours. Sure, we were sprinkled with “Any Given Sunday” EPs in between, and I cannot forget when “The Cure” became my anthem, but frankly, I was tired of waiting. Waiting for something new to drop. Something hot to drop. And waiting for Cole to assume his position behind the mic (his production doesn’t match up to his lyricism in my honest opinion). I wanted a banger — and we all know Truly Yours was more conscious than crackin’. Then. Finally. After forever and a day. There was this:
Although the Fayetteville representer admits he could’ve gone with a record that may have done better in today’s hip-hop climate, ultimately this newer sound won. ”Power Trip” may not possess the lyrical prowess we all know and love Cole for, but it’s a hit. Certified. And it features Miguel, whose Grammy win undoubtedly provided him a bigger platform (meaning more opportunity for him to receive his just deserts). It’s a smooth record, with just enough mainstream appeal without straying far from Cole’s stirring roots.