On Sunday, Jul 31, 2011, at 6:59pm, critically-acclaimed newcomer J.Cole released via his own website (www.DreamVillain.net) a 5-track EP titled Any Given Sunday #1. “Every Sunday ‘til the album drops I’ll be back,” Cole proudly proclaimed to his ever growing legions of followers patiently waiting for his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story due September 27th this year.
Replete with a classic, young Michael Jordan-inspired cover, #1 is a mix of new and previously released songs and freestyles that offer just a glimpse into the world of the buzz-worthy rookie signed to Jay-Z’s RocNation imprint. Cole’s diehard fans (the ones with his mixtapes The Come Up and The Warm Up already on replay) will rejoice for flow-switching new joints like the upbeat “Like A Star,” which he admits he “was saving this for the 2nd album,” and the melodic sample-driven “Pity,” featuring Omen and Voli, that remind listeners why he’s been so anticipated for some time now.
“Like A Star”
Those needing a late pass are sure to be taken back by the young lyricist’s diverse subject matter, poetic writing flair and unabashed honesty. Truthfully, what make’s the young MC so compelling and refreshing, is his unique ability to articulate his perceptions of himself and the world around him. One listen to previously released joints like “Knock On Wood,” or “Unabomber,” make it abundantly apparent that in nearly every verse, the Fayetteville North Carolina-native is capable of fluidly switching gears from personal struggle, to news and world events, to verbal braggadocio, to hollering at females, without indulging in the over-exaggeration that has become all too commonplace in today’s hip-hop climate.
At the end of the day though, at just five tracks, Any Given Sunday # 1 merely showcases J.Cole’s potential for greatness, not solidifies it. Only time will tell if he will live up to the hype and actually do Jordan numbers, or end up just another Harold Miner.