After the 5-Year anniversary of the release of J. Cole’s “The Warm Up,” I decided to sit and revisit the Mixtape/Project/EP/*Album this week. I normally listen to something different every week, and really listen to the core and essence in its entirety. The Warm Up for me is different in terms of its Nostalgia. It almost has that impact on me as Lauryn’s “Miseducation”, Kanye’s “College Dropout”, Jay’s “Blueprint”, Nas’ “Stillmatic,” Common’s “Be” etc. It’s different, in terms of its impact, than the previous albums because I felt as though I could relate to Cole on a more personal level with this album. His lyrical content incorporated some of the themes which I’d been dealing with as a rising Senior at Shaw University(coincidentally in *Raleigh, North Carolina), College Life, making a better life for my family and I, being from a city of Crime(Richmond, Va.), hope, passion, soul, women(“my ole chick from Raleigh that I still like to Parlay wit…). Sonically, The album had that soulful No I.D./Kanye’ urban sound of the streets which could characterize the everyday grind of New York City. It had a melodic yet melancholic sound which represents sadness/good memories hope for what i was facing at that juncture in my life. The Warm Up was dope on all levels. Like, 5 Mics in the Source(*bible) dope. Tracks like “I Get Up,” “Royal Flush,” & “Can I Live,” happen to be my favorite tracks on the Project. “Losing My Balance” and “Last Call” are up there as well. Speaking of, I’m lowkey waiting on “The Next Up” & “The Blow Up” as indicated on Last Call. Coming out of a strong summer and into the Fall of 09, and to hear Cole destroy his verse on Hov’s Blueprint III *Star is Born, Wales Beautiful Bliss, and to hear him hold his own with the likes of Talib, Mos Def, and Jay Electronica on Hi-Tek and Kweli’s “Just Begun” legitimized and Solidified Cole as the Leader of this next great Generation of Hip-Hop.
Word Up Cole keep droppin dope shit,
- Hop. Big Fan