J. Cole (feat. Lee Fields & The Expressions) - Ladies
Signed to Jay-Z's "Roc Nation", J. Cole minces that NYC 90s-esque style with modern swagger. I didn't want to jump on board too early as even though I have nothing but love for Hov, he's known for signing some rather lackluster acts in the past and letting them put out even more lackluster records. Just check the Roc-A-Fella roster from a few years ago as evidence of this. However, after really digesting Cole's The Warm Up mixtape for awhile now - I'm in.
As a tip of the hat, to the man who signed him, Cole seems to be up for a challenge as he decides to take on one of Jigga's lauded classics and gives "Dead Presidents II" his own take. An amateur would faulter attempting to do something like this but he embraces it. Bar after bar, he shows off some major lyrical dexterity, topped off with an aggressiveness as to provide a contrast to Jay-Z's original flow. Though he wisely pulls it back enough as not to come across as another Memphis Bleek. Over Lee Fields & The Expressions' "Ladies", dude seems to channel that Mos Def "Ms. Fat Booty" vibe on jam for yes, the ladies.
[The Warm Up mixtape is available for download from his myspace.]