Record Review: J. Cole – The Warm Up Mixtape

There’s a common thirst among artists to become “the next big thing,” and J. Cole is an inspirational example of the quick route to fame and success, especially in his mix tape The Warm Up.

J. Cole keeps it original. He steps into the rap game still breaking it big without forgetting his roots or distilling his message.  On “Can I Live”  he visually tells a story of a friend witnessing and grieving over the death of his friend at the scene. When listening to this song you emotionally connect to his lyrics, and almost feel as if you’re there.  You’re able to hear and feel the significance of his storytelling within his lyrics.  The Warm Up doesn’t feel  like a mix tape because of how well put together J. Cole is musically as an artist.

He connects with his listeners through his music, word by word and beat by beat.  Listeners can tell and feel the difference between genuine and artificial production. Through his monologue he gives us insight into his life and dreams; he speaks in a tone so sincere and personal you feel as if he is speaking to you specifically, where you will find yourself break into goose bumps no matter how many times his tracks are replayed.

J. Cole’s music is soulful and strong; lyrically, he touches not only our hearts, but also his upbringing in North Carolina. The poverty and hopelessness that affected his community is expressed through his tracks “Can I Live” and “World Is Empty” while  progression, hope, happiness permeate  “It Won’t Be Long” and “I Get Up” . His music and lyrics encapsulates not just who J. Cole is as a rapper, but who Jermaine is as an artist and a person. – Chaunice Brooks

The Warm Up Trailer:

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