Wednesday, February 16, 2011

J.Cole: Untapping The Potential

J. Cole, is an American Hip Hop recording artists and producer, who was the first artist that was signed to Jay-Z's label Roc Nation, management, music publishing and entertainment company. Roc Nation has expanded it's roster and has become home to some incredible talents; Hugo, Willow Smith, Jay Electronica, Rita Ora, Bridget Kelly, Alexis Jordan, Blaze Bogatinov, Sean Garret, Nebo Uyanwah and K. Koke. The label also manages Rihanna, Wale, Melanie Fiona, No I.D, Solange Knowles and etc.

Back to the German born Fayetteville, North Carolina resider who has worked his way to becoming one of the best word-smiths in the Hip Hop community. J. Cole is often compared to Nas, despite being Jay-Z's Protege, and in fact the comparisons to the Queensbridge living legend are quite right. Cole presents a confident flow packed with witty figurative speech that leaves listeners nodding their heads, pausing and rewinding his music. He finds a way to analyze his feelings that is undeniably heartfelt and create an elemental bond with his listeners.

J. Cole is quite the prospect. He is symbolized as the one artist who will finally bring back intelligence and creativity to the Hip Hop mainstream world. He still has a long way to go. He needs to find his way into the radar of mainstream with out selling out and maintaining his unique identity. He had the perfect opportunity to and here's how he passed it up.

One of my favorite songs by J. Cole is titled "In The Morning" and recently he released a remix that features Drake. The theme of the song goes hand to hand with the vibe provided by the instrumental. This is one of those songs that when you listen to it, you imagine a video for it. You visualize yourself in this video.

The video released definitely wasn't what I expected. I was in fact greatly disappointed that two artists of their potential would release such a visually weak video. Drake has a resume of releasing uncreative videos except for "Find Your Love" (we're still waiting for the continuation). I didn't think that J. Cole was going to disappoint the same way.

Is music really as strong as it's visuals? Yes, there are times where the video completes the music. Look at Michael Jackson's "Remember The Time" and understand that visuals should be as important as the actual music. I know that mentioning Michael Jackson isn't a fair comparison but J. Cole truly has the potential to be someone with a great legacy. Let's hope that his other songs such as, "Light's Please" and "Higher" receive a better treatment.

J. Cole and Drake - In The Morning Remix

I still prefer the original version of the song over the remix.

J. Cole - In The Morning


okatea. said...

Great piece! There could be multiple factors as to why J. Cole hasn't reached mainstream success. For example, he may not want to be greatly popular; he may be afraid of doing just that: going mainstream and accidentally selling out. Some artists get rushed into mainstream so quickly that they don't realize that they don't produce the same quality of music they previously had or their message isn't the same.

Florind Metalla said...

Agreed. Maybe we should wait for the debut album? I'm just a great fan of his work and it's a set back when something incredible sort of takes a few steps back.

There are plenty of artists who have gone mainstream and still kept their integrity. Artists like Maxwell and Lupe Fiasco. The list could go on but there are artists with that capability. It has a lot to do with diagnosing the consumer and the demographics he wants to reach.

Ultimately, I think he wants his music to speak for itself and won't allow the labels to build him a false image.

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