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Cole World: The Sideline Story

4.6 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2011 debut studio album from the American rapper, which follows up on the success of his three underground mixtapes. Featuring guest appearances from Trey Songz, Drake, Missy Elliott and his mentor Jay-Z.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roc Nation / Columbia
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • ASIN: B005C9WA20
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,137 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Q. Pair on September 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Its not so easy to find quality hip hop these days that has made it to mainstream success, but by some miracle, J. Cole has been able to breach that barrier and make the transition from mixtape rapper to mainstream artist. The Dollar and a Dream kid has been on his grind, and it looks like its about to pay off with Cole World: The Sideline Story.

There are three major reasons to like J. Cole: Substance, lyrical versitility, and production. Cole goes against the grain of a majority of rappers coming out the south and strives for lyrical dominance in the game. That being said, this CD (as well as any other project he's put out) is heavy with material that is a far cry from the usual Blingidly-bling-bling bullcrap and materialistic infatuation that saturates this genre. Simply put, the man has something to say, and its worth listening to. Also, in the same fashion as Kanye West, J. Cole produces much of his own music, and is responsible for 15 of the total tracks on the CD.

As a whole, this is a very personal album, in the sense that J. Cole is not affraid to expose himself and tell his story as it really is. Much of his appeal comes from his songs being so down to earth and easy to relate to. You dont need rose tinted platinum framed shades to visualize the things he talks about. "Dollar And A Dream III," the opening track, is truly an epic song, painting a vivid mural on the walls of your mind of the struggles of being broke with little else but a dream and some hope. Cole continues to expose his soul to the world with "Breakdown" where he talks about his father's lack of presence in his life, his mother's drug addiction, and a 3rd person perspective of a man in jail with a woman at home who is struggling to stay faithful.
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9 Comments 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
My dude...it's been years since I've had a favorite hip-hop artist, years since I've written a review for an album, years since I've actually purchased a physical copy of a CD...so why J. Cole you ask? Simply put, I relate to him...you can tell he's got his head on straight, he's down to earth, he talks to the fans in a way that makes you know he appreciates you and is right there with you. He doesn't put himself above his fans, he's modest, he let's his music speak for itself.

From the Come Up, to the Warm Up, to the now Blow Up of his "official" career, this here debut album...It's been good watching you grow Cole, good watching you do what you love. You can tell you got a passion for the game, as I do, and you're going about it the right way, not getting big-headed, not losing everything that makes you, well you. Keep bringing meaningful lyrics that express yourself and touch on things that matter, that people can relate too...A lot of rappers lose that when they get signed and make it big...they start talking about everything they got or just about themselves. Yea, the dude's life has changed, but he still talks about issues that relate to all of us. That right there, is an artist I can respect and will be a fan of for a long time. And he does it in a creative lyrical way that tells a story from a different perspective...Many artists out there just don't have that anymore. Listen to tracks like "Lost Ones" and "God's Gift" and "Never Told" and tell me that's NOT REAL. Story-tellin' Cole. Cole World. Support, buy this album, follow your own dreams as he did, and have some good music to listen to while you're doing it. Nuff said.
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By D.H. on September 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hands down, one of the best freshman albums I've heard, and one of the best of 2011! J. Cole brings back hip hop with vivid story telling so fans can relate, while still providing quality singles. It may have some older songs from mixtapes, but who cares when Cole's been giving fans free quality music for years!? #ColeWorld no blanket!
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Format: Audio CD
Im not gonna lie I was waiting for the Cole World to come out since the start. When I first heard J Cole I had a good feeling about the future of the game. You can tell that even though hes still young he is a MC which is not too common today. His lyrics have graduated to a MC level which is a beautiful thing for the young generation since theres not too many young MC's on the semi-commercial tip. However since I gave him that I must rate the album as if I will rate a MC which means I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This is strictly my opinion. Nothing else. Not nockin Cole at all. I just didn't really see why 2 of the 16 tracks made the final cut. I know having Jay Z on your album is dope but he didn't really needed that with this project. If anything that song brought the album down a little. But I guess J Cole is loyal to his peoples and thats a good thing. However besides that overall the album is mad real, potent and inspiring. Everyone needs to won a copy somehow.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is the best debut rap album I've heard since Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor. Definitely the best debut out of the new rappers (Wiz, B.o.B. etc..). Although it is great, it's not perfect. I don't really like the production on "Mr. Nice Watch" and "Cole World", these two songs will have to grow on me, but since the lyrics in both songs are good, I still listen to them sometimes. Besides the production on those two songs, honestly, the rest of the album (production and lyrically) is great from beginning to end, even with lights please and in the morning on it (which are two old songs from his mixtapes) because they fit the album very well (perfect placement on the album, sequence wise). If you are a fan of rappers with substance, story-telling in music, and great lyrics, then this is a must buy!! Well done Mr. Cole.
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