Going back to J. Cole’s Power Trip production video made me really think about all the gems the Roc Nation and Dreamville made as a producer.
A lot of people only see him as a ruthless MC that they forget that the Born Sinner himself actually made some crazy beats as well!! And to anyone doubting it, I put together this nice list for you
My top 5 J. Cole beats go like this:
5. Too Deep For The Intro – The smooth drums and crisp but subtle high-hats really made this one of the smoothest tracks Cole produced. And the Eryka Badu vocal sample (I believe), is an amazing touch to an already incredibly soothing beat.
4. HiiiPower – Although this is an instrumental that Cole did not rap on, it is one of his best and most different beats. Perhaps it is because this beat was made for Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar. This appeared on K.Dot’s highly-acclaimed mixtape “Section.80” and probably one of the best songs on the project. The hypnotic and rapid keys is what really highlights this amazing song other than King Kendrick’s raw lyricism.
3. Crooked Smile – Cole’s 2nd single off his recent sophomore release “Born Sinner” is the perfect balance of both organic and commercial appeal. Like his fan-favorites “It Won’t Be Long” or “Lights Please”, this song defines J. Cole to the absolute fullest, goes against the trends and still be considered a radio smash. The church-like claps, triumphantly happy pianos, droopy bass guitar and subtle violin is really hard hitting while having the power to uplift.
2. Power Trip – Oh, man. I wish I was more instrumentally savvy so I can pin-point each instrument being used. There is so many funky sounds being incorporated that just mesh so well. The only place where I can begin is the crunchy and ominous guitar-loop which dominates the entire song. What I wish there was more of is the flute that you can hear clearly in the beginning and at the top of the chorus before Grammy-award winning Miguel sings. If that particular loop is more present in the song, this would have been my No. 1 J. Cole beat, ever.
1. Nobody’s Perfect – Only the best song on J. Cole’s first album “Cole World: The Sideline Story”, amazing. Very 90’s r&b influenced, it’s ridiculous how he was able to capture this perfect without it sounding forced. Cole and Big K.R.I.T. really are the two new producer rappers that I can say make the most organic and heartfelt music. But anyways, the bass in this record is hash but heavy in a good way, the drums are crunchier than a stale granola bar. What steals the song is the smooth and light pianos keys that add the best touch to complement everything. Without them the song would be short from classic.
With everyone still hyped over the huge streak in amazing rap albums and mixtapes, it is hard to digest all the music at the same time. As much as I love sitting with one album at a time, I am too much of a hip-hop fiend to not want to listen to 3 or 4 projects all at once. As much as it depreciates the album’s moment, it is definately nice when you revisist and re-fall in love with the music. Thank you J. Cole
And thank you for reading.