*J. Cole is trying to bring storytelling back to hip hop with his debut “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” his first official release for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
“The album sounds incredible. I feel like it’s gonna pave the way,” the 26-year-old told us at the recent BET Awards.
The streets have already been flooded with J. Cole mixtapes since 2007. The latest was 2010’s “Friday Night Lights,” which contained the standouts “Looking for Trouble” (released for free by Kanye West as part of his G.O.O.D. Fridays run) and “In the Morning featuring Drake. [Scroll down to watch the video.]
Due Sept. 27, “Cole World: The Sideline Story” has been through a journey-and-a-half. In May, Cole tweeted, “All singles done. Album ridiculous. Title Perfect. Music incredible. Thank you for your patience. Let’s change the game.” After another tweet announcing the album was awaiting sample clearances, he informed his followers last month of the album title and the release date.
In the bonus audio below, he talks about the album’s production and lyrics – a return to storytelling that he hopes will catch on – again.