.
  • Marley71

    I didn't listen to this album. This guy just seems like milquetoast. Wish him the best.

  • wat

    Conceptually, stylistically, and subject matter-wise, it was an excellent album. But it suffered on the production side. J. Cole is a fine producer but the beats on Born Sinner were way too similar, bland, and non-distinct. That's my one nitpick about him. He's one of my favorite rappers ever but I wish he would be more open to working with outside producers. Some of my favorite Cole tracks are his freestyles on classic Kanye beats plus he sounded amazing on Major Lazer's Get Free. I hope for his next project he's less "do it yourself." I'd love to see him work with people like Pharrell and The Neptunes or his fellow NC native, 9th Wonder. There's two sides to hip hop: lyricism and production. You can't have one without the other.

    • biff tannen

      I think working with other producers is the only thing that's keeping cole from being on the kendrick and drake level of popularity amongst the general public.

      I hope he reaches out and works with others for his next project.

      • wat

        Same here.

      • CJJ

        cosign

    • CJJ

      the mainstream competition sucked this year, maybe LongLiveAsap can also be a contender or MCHG. The thing is there wasn't a standout album like last year

      • wat

        I can't put Long.Live.A$AP anywhere near AOTY. I liked a few records but it's far from AOTY material. MCHG was just alright. About a 6/10. Now that the hype has died, everyone realizes that. It has no longevity. But that applies to every album last year. I agree none stood out. All except Yeezus, but everyone loves to hate that album lol

        • CJJ

          Yeezus was lyrically subpar, lyrically kanye's weakest album
          That's why I said there is no standout album this year

          • biff tannen

            You must just be talking about mainstream stuff right?

          • CJJ

            ofc, what else? I specifically said it in my sentence

          • wat

            Yeah it was lyrically subpar but it still stood out as an overall album. Especially over its competition.

          • CJJ

            nah, not for me, but that's my taste
            Hip Hop is still about lyrics and production together, if one lacks the other, I don't like it

          • wat

            This isn't about taste. I'm talking about albums from 2013 that people will remember the most. People will remember Yeezus, hate it or love it.

          • CJJ

            They'll remember it just because it's a Kanye album just like every Em album or something else, at a certain moment the music doesn't live up to the name, for me this is what Yeezus was

          • wat

            That's untrue. People won't remember Relapse, Recovery, and ESPECIALLY not the Marshall Mathers LP 2.

          • CJJ

            dude its eminem, they will remind just because he's Eminem
            His albums sell minimum 5m worldwide

          • wat

            They may sell a lot but again, we're talking about memorability.

        • marty mcfly

          Your saying MCHG dont have longevity but its only been 7 months since it came out. Go back and listen to Holy Grail, Somewhereinamerica, Oceans, Crown, Picasso, Heaven, Part2 etc.... That still sounds fresh. On a mainstream level LongLiveAsap keep commercial hip hop poppin all year. Its like constant hits from Jan - like Nov, Asap ran all over the game starting Goldie to PMW to Fucking Problems to LongLiveASAP to Wild For The Night to Fashion Killa and for the heads you got 1 Train, Phoenix and Angels and a couple other slept on joints. There is no other album that stood out like ASAP's, thats why imo its AOTY. This one album basically ran circles around mainstream hip hop for eleven months.

          • wat

            I respectfully disagree.

          • marty mcfly

            Well there are definitely things that go beyond hype with MCHG. Alot of that shit conceptually just comes down to good song making with songs that actually have points to make. As far as what stood out the most on a hype level but also delivered good music. I dont know what did more splashing around i hip hop culture then LongLiveASAP.

          • wat

            MCHG wasn't bad at all, it was just a non-memorable album. Especially when put up against Jay-Z's full discography. The thing that will be remembered most about MCHG is its release strategy. Also, what did LLA do for the culture? No one talked about that album, overall. It had big singles (especially Fuckin' Problems) but it wasn't renowned in the slightest. Live.Love.A$AP had 20x more impact than Long.Live.A$AP will ever have.

          • marty mcfly

            Again your talking about non memorable and longevity when the album hasn't even been out a year. You cant put any album against Jays full discography because one albums worth of songs vs more then 10 albums worth of songs will never be an equal competition. Its when you dont compare MCHG to anything you see its full potential. The albums stands by itself. Nobody really gives a fuck about the marketing. The songs are dope bottom line. Now wit ASAP's album you ask what did it do for the culture? Now I could give you a long list of things but i'll say that album held a mirror up to the culture. You got some young kid with gold teeth and rapping about fashion from NY city with a southern influence making commercial hip hop. If thats not a very accurate mirror of what the culture as a whole as become in the last few years then I dont know what is. Yes there are other things poppin but imo the culture is what created ASAP's album. Rocky was the vessel that the art came through to show the culture (or NY city) what it looked like in 2013.

          • wat

            Idk man, it seems like you're reading into things too much for that take on Long.Live.A$AP.

          • marty mcfly

            It started with Peso. When that video dropped it instantly put a light on ASAP. Then the Goldie single and video. Both were FIRE. Then PMW leaked out and again that was fire, then Fucking Problems basically took over commercial hip hop. Then LongLiveASAP song and video made some impact, then 1 Train got some notice underground, then Wild For The Night started connecting, then Fashion Killa, then he closed it out with the videos for Phoenix and Angels... Homie there is no way most hip hop fans could escape this album. No matter what kinda fan your are there is something there for you. The shit was some underground/mainstream/gangsta rap/high end fashion rap/ trill sounding hip hop music. Thats just too many elements all acting at once with an artistic balance that made it all seem effortless, for any other album in 2013 to fuck with. Other albums come close but as far as what did the culture overall keep paying attention too and what album delivered? I gotta be LongLive ASAP.

          • marty mcfly

            @wat, you can make a lyrical argument against ASAP but if most the other rappers aint make to many lyrical driven hip hop albums then how much weight can we put on lyricism overall in 2013. You'll be hard pressed to find a better verse then Jays first verse on Oceans in 2013 but hey thats Jayz. Most rappers in 2013 wasn't really trying to push a lyrical agenda.

        • biff tannen

          MCHG was horrible.

    • Retro

      The production was bland? Did we listen to the same album? BS is EASILY Cole's best produced project and the gripe with that in and of itself doesn't work for me. Working with other people just for the sake of doing it would turn out just as bad as him sticking to his own beats. Now at times I'll give you that he blends in with the beat and seeing as how BS was lacking in substance based subject matter the issue was compounded. But BS was one of the best albums sonically last year, the instrumentals were phenomenal.

      • marty mcfly

        Cole working with other producers would turn out just as bad as him sticking to his own beats? Hell NO. Cole is at the Roc with No I.D, Timberland, Jahlil Beats, and not too mention he could get Just Blaze, Swizz, Kanye whatever and its no way he makes better shit then any one of these producers.

        • Retro

          You're missing the whole point kid. He makes his beats because HE feels most comfortable on them. Yeah, let him just jump on some Jahlil Beats (whose beats don't fit Cole's style AT ALL) just because and see how it turns out. Could be dope, could be wack. And it's not even an issue of his beats >>> theirs, who the fuck was trying to say that to begin with? lol For what Cole does his beats fit him perfectly...

          • marty mcfly

            If a rapper makes his own beats of course they "fit" but do they sound DOPE? or just meh/ok sometimes? Cole makes shit that sounds sleepy and basic and I'd say its kinda denial to not admit that after two albums. No I.D makes the same kinda music as Cole but who does it better honestly? You give them both the same sample and topics, who you think is gonna make the better beat? Cole or No I.D? Cole might make a beat the "fits" him but will a beat from Just Blaze not do the same thing but just sound alot better too? Its a long lists of producers that would give Cole a better sound. Lets just be real here, you know damn well that Cole is not the guy with heat when it comes to beats fam. You know that... Go back and listen to most those beats on Born Sinner. Are you serious? You mean to tell me that shit is fire to you? COMEONSON

          • Retro

            lol @ "sleepy" beats. So...what? All of his beats are supposed to be 808 laden hype shit all the time? Soul sampled funky shit all the time? You do realize that the beats he makes are directly proportionate to the subject matter right? So a beat like Power Trip wasn't perfect for that song? The OutKast sample on "Land of the Snakes" wasn't perfect for that song? Don't give me that "be real" crap, anecdotal "I don't like it therefore it isn't dope" arguments aren't helping your case. Who's to say No I.D.'s beats would be better FOR COLE? That's the point here, again I'm not comparing them overall, it's about who fits which is what you keep complaining about but you're ignoring what I brought up in my last response. There's no point in him working with Jahlil or others just for the sake of variety. If he did do that and it still isn't dope then we're right back at square one. How do you not see that...

          • marty mcfly

            Im not ignoring what your saying but if certain producers are better then Cole then it is what it is. You keep saying that Cole makes beats to fit his style and subjects but thats what everybody in hip hop does. They make songs by rapping over what sounds like fits their style and subject matter so im not giving him no extra points for that. When Common works with No I.D , when Jay works with Pharrell, when Ross works with Justice League, etc... They all rap on beats that fit their style so thats just the normal thing to do imo. Cole rapping over his own beats because the fit his style is not some amazing gift imo cause everybody does that. Thats how you make songs. Just cause a beat fits a certain style dont make the song dope. The beats for Villuminati and Power Trip were dope but the rest of all those beats were trash and that includes Land Of Snakes cause I cant just give props because of an Outkast sample im sorry. All the other beats on that album were either wack, meh, boring or just not impactful at all. So yeah imo people want Cole to be Nas so bad that the nigga decided to be a worse beat selector then Nas cause even Nas would just rap to a dope beat sometimes. Cole is like determined to find the most boring loops and beats and just wear them out with his sob story raps for whole projects at a time. FOH

  • Mt

    Who is this guy who has consistiently shitty opinions?

    • $nicka

      how can someone have a shitty opinion? that literally makes no sense.

  • MahHest

    Yes.

  • LPIdaho

    It absolutely was.

  • drico

    I 100% agree with everything wat said. Album was sequenced incredibly though just as Sideline Story and everything he has done,

  • Tino

    It was a solid album no doubt, but greatest of 2013? in my opinion no. Still a great read, nice job Andreas.

  • aharon ellis

    I feel like The Sideline Story doesn't get the credit it deserves b/c of that Workout single.. Minus workout & Mr Nice Watch (two forced singles) The Sideline Story was a complete album from start to finish. I felt like he gave you an honest portrayal of HIS life. Dude had a single with Missy Elliot!!! Born Sinner was a great album, hindered by a few random ass songs i.e Trouble, She Knows, Aint that some Shit. At the end of the day we are talking Best Album of 2013, and it is hard to argue against that. We can gladly say that J Cole is staying true to himself, and fans can't be mad at that!

  • Donnie

    Album of the year discussions are just plain dumb. Having favourite albums that came out in a year is fine, but to say that one album you liked was the BEST album to come out in a year is just arrogant. It's okay to love an album and not try to convince everyone that it was the album of the year, because realistically, if there was an album of the year (which there wasn't, there were just albums that some people liked more than others) then the privilege certainly wouldn't go to J. Cole, I don't know anyone who talked about that album after the summer.

    • aharon ellis

      The whole point is to debate, or discuss why YOU think it may, or may not be the Album of the Year. Realistically, i can say that Juicy J had the album of the year if all i was going for was "turn-up" music. Lol

      • Donnie

        But there cannot be ANY album of the year, because it's completely objective and there are thousands of albums released in so many different genres. I could say why it's the album of the year, or why it isn't, but that doesn't change what people hear when they press play. Debating as to whether an album is good or not highlights points of musicality, arguing as to why it is better than ALL other albums released in 2013 is childish and pointless.

        • marty mcfly

          People's opinion on AOTY is based on that objectivity. Not picking any album for that position is like taking the easy way out.

          • Donnie

            There doesn't need to be a 'way out', just argue your point for good music, why does your favourite album have to be better than EVERYTHING that came out in that year? That's small-minded and weirdly obsessive.

          • marty mcfly

            You could say its "small minded" but for one to take such a debate seriously it takes more then a small mind based on the number of factors that one can include. You dont have to think about if you dont want to but looking at the game and forming some kinda opinion about what you feel is the best material overall that year doesn't make you weirdly obsessive. It means you have an opinion.

          • Donnie

            Having an opinion doesn't mean something can't be weirdly obsessive. And you're right, there are hundreds of factors you could include, but I feel that there aren't enough factors that anyone could gather to support calling an album 'the best of the year', feeling that one album can be better than all others released during the same year, to me, is small minded, unnecessary, and takes away from the artist's intentions.

          • marty mcfly

            Your using the words "weirdly obsessive", id say some people just really like hip hop music. Again YOU dont have to pick an album of the year. So feel free to not do that. However for alot of other people, it just comes natural to pick out the best of, of anything and then pick their top choices and then say they feel that this or that is the best. You think thats "small minded" but at least people use their minds to do it. Not having an opinion takes no mind at all.

          • Donnie

            I do have an opinion; selecting one album as being better than all others is foolish. That is my opinion, and I'd say it's a far more reasonable opinion than saying J. Cole released a better album than every other artist in 2013. And you're taking my comment about it being weirdly obsessive and saying people just really like hip-hop, well my comment isn't exclusive to hip-hop fans or J. Cole fans, it's about anyone who says one album is better than all others. THAT is weirdly obsessive.

          • marty mcfly

            Ok thats fine and thats why I said you dont have to pick an album so then you wont be foolish or weirdly obsessive or whatever. Its still a good chance though that 99.9% of all hip hop fans at one point or another have said "I think this album is the best" ... in whatever kinda context they were making a statement in. So if all those people are foolish to you then thats fine.

          • marty mcfly

            I mean just in general we all live in a world were almost everything is narrowed down to the best of its form every year by all the supporters of whatever that thing is. We hand out awards for things we feel are the best. If you have no best then cool just dont pick any then.

        • biff tannen

          Objective = un biased, based on many factors

          Subjective = personal opinion.

          Continue....

          • Donnie

            Shit you got me! In my defence it's late in the UK and I've been working all day so I'm pretty spaced out, but yeah subjective, not objective!

          • marty mcfly

            Subjective, objective, whatever. The point is to have an opinion is alot better then having no opinion. If you believe there is no album of the year that is saying you have no opinion. At least say if I had to pick id say this or that. To say that its foolish or weirdly obsessive to pick any album at all is the easiest cop out one can make. You have nothing to talk about and you have nothing to say because your choice is blank in the matter. Of course music is subjective but stating the obvious doesn't mean a non choice is better then someone who has factored in many different things and made a decision. To say that your opinion is that other people who think an album is the best of the year is foolish? Is such a dodge and redirection of the topic at hand. Just say you dont have a choice and exit the conversation if you have no AOTY.

    • Sticky

      obviously everyone has a different top albums list, but very often people enjoy the same thing which is why there wasn't much debate last year. Debates don't need winners, i like to hear what other people enjoyed to see if i missed anything, also i'm probably going to give born sinner another listen because of this post

  • 91&^UP

    Chance The Rapper - Acid Rap. End of story.

    • MahHest

      not even an album.

      • MahHest

        but it was great.

      • 91&^UP

        Seriously? Seeeeriously?

        • MahHest

          did i stststutter? brah an album is an album, a mixtape is a fucking mixtape. muhfuckas didnt listen to j. cole's album entirely. but errbody n they gramma know every song on acid rap cuz that shit was free everywhere. i love acid rap prolly more than you do but ive listened to both all the way thru prolly a hundred too many times n it wasnt hard at all to see Born Sinner is by far the most complete album dropped this year. if Acid Rap was an album it would be right up there with it in my eyes, but it aint an album dog

          • MahHest

            Lyrically nobody can even fuck with Born Sinner. J Cole's production is a either you love it or hate it, kinda like Chance's shit(i kno plenty of ppl who cant stand his voice) but all that shit about it all sounds similar is bullshit, quote me on that, cuz shit is mos definitely unique to every song

      • headwest

        Acid Rap is an album. it's a body of work, a collection of songs. This album vs. mixtape bullshit is just semantics.

        • MahHest

          Wrong again. Chance had free reign on his MIXTAPE. He didnt have to appeal to anyone and didnt have anyone in his ear telling him when to drop, what to drop, saying "change this lyric" or "dont say that" or any of the madness that comes with dropping an album that you and many others obviously know absolutely nothing about. A body of work is a body of work. An album is a type of body of work. A mixtape is a DIFFERENT type of body of work. A resume is yet another type of body of work. I aint gone hand my next employer my resume n say "Peep my album"... are you?

          • MahHest

            You can say something is "just semantics" but that doesnt dismiss the logic lol.

          • headwest

            I get where you're coming from. you're right. it's not JUST semantics. There are very real differences between the two. We've all heard about how long it's taken for Q's album to come out, how many songs TDE has had to scrap or replay...all because of sample clearance issues. Mixtapes (free albums, essentially) don't have to contend with the same restraints and parameters put on albums, true. BUT no two projects are ever created on the same playing field. Not every rapper has A-list producers on hand. Not every rapper can fly to a private studio in France to record. Not every rapper has access to studio musicians. But i don't see anyone separating albums by budget, or the level of studios used, or the number of names on the album credits. When it comes to criticism, they are all viewed as equals. Every musician has handicaps, but the true test of his/her worth is how they leverage their strengths to make good music. Born sinner is ok, but Acid Rap is better. and regardless of the difficulties in putting out a commercial album, we should be able to compare the two. I do get your point tho. let me ponder that some more lol.

          • MahHest

            Thats all I ask...but also think about this. Most people didnt know who Chance was, so he was relatively new and extremely original, his originality has a hella lot to do wit how good his album was. BUT...muhfuckas like me, I heard 10day before Acid Rap, so it wasnt thaaat new to me. Honestly is till think 10day is better, but both are incredibly dope. My point is, while Chance brought us something never before heard, J. Cole brought us his consistent sound that his fans have come to love, but refined a tremendous amount. I always dreaded the Acid Rap vs. Born Sinner argument cuz thats basically opinion, as the projects are entirely different sounds, and its hard to knock on either without being ignorant. But yo I digress, yall muhfuckas needa listen to Born Sinner front to back n do alotta ponderin yo

          • Sticky

            no way in hell 10 day is better than acid rap, 10day got me excited for acid rap but it wasn't good enough for most people to consider it an album like people have with acid rap

          • Mez D

            I'm pretty sure 95% of people would agree Acid Rap was better than 10 Day. It almost goes past opinion. Acid Rap was an improvement on every front on 10 day, from production, lyrics, hooks, atmosphere, cohesiveness, etc.
            And I heard 10 Day before Acid Rap came out too.

            Innanetape by Vic Mensa is kinda slept on compared to Acid Rap which I thought was equally dope. Probably cause they sound similar and Chance's was more "out there", but eitherway they were both dope projects that got constant plays since they came out

          • MahHest

            sure he had a few more resources but that doesnt mean the musics necessarily any better. i get what youre saying but shit like Hey Ma n even Prom Night i like better than any song on Acid Rap. shiiit Family is like in my top 5 all time favorites. Today...my favorite song off Acid Rap is the Outro aside from Paranoia. both great projects but i feel 10day was more personal n idk i guess im into that shit. would also speak for Born Sinner as thats personal as fuck too. If you dont like J. Cole how can you like his album or judge it without bias?

            n yo i loved innanetape too n took it upon myself to burn 50 copies of that just to hand out, which i do with good music now and then, but Acid Rap is a whole step ahead. Vic's tape coulda been so much better i feel like, but it was still good.

          • Mez D

            yeah I feel you 10 Day was more personal and I thought is was dope but didn't have much variety in sound and his rhyme scheme and patterns were a bit too slow and unchanging for me.
            I would put Chain Smoker, Acid Rain, the outro and the intro up against all those songs (Family is a favorite of mine too though)
            and innanetape was perfect for me start to finish.

  • Nez

    Nah. I'll give you Born Sinner > Yeezus. But it wasn't better than MNIMN, nah, no way.

    • biff tannen

      MNIMN wasn't even better than Yeezus.

      Born Sinner >>>>>>>>>>>>>>MNIMN

      Not even close.

    • Swag

      THIS PUSHA T!!!!!

  • Pizza Steve

    In my opinion (read closely, MY OPINION) I think Born Sinner was a great album. I don't know what you hip hop fans want sometimes! It can be a great album & you STILL complain smh what more do you want? Just enjoy the music or keep it moving. On that note, Born Sinner was a great album. IMO

  • marty mcfly

    First of all "Cohesion" does not equal AOTY. I know people have a tendency to believe that making a cohesive album somehow means its better then everybody else's but thats not the case. 2nd if Born Sinner doesn't strike you as being remarkable (on first listen) that doesn't necessarily help build its case for AOTY. Especially if it dont strike as being remarkable on the 2nd listen. People use the term "slow burner" when talking about Cole's album and imo that dont sound like a compliment. It sounds more like you had to listen to it over and over until you developed some sorta reasoning to convince yourself you liked it. Its also implied that Cole's music isnt flashy or doesn't sound big or eventful and hits from his albums isnt really expected? Well ok but that doesn't make it AOTY either. Some may say that because Cole assumes such a humility in sound is in a way its a retreat from his own position. In the same way that Cole likes to rap about his hatred of rich niggas when he is actually one of those rich niggas. On the flip side of that coin I can understand people taken such positions and opinions but I also can see why some would say if your a big mainstream artist that every rap fan on the planet is aware of then why not make the music sound like that (BIG). Dont run from that lane, just step right in it. In My Opinion alot of the reasoning i've heard for this albums case, can be used to suggest why its probably not the best album of the year. Not taken any risks sonically or artistically and not making any big sounding records doesn't mean its better just because its humble in sound.

  • CJ AKA GODSSON

    Absolutely not. I'm a big fan of J. Cole but the idea that born sinner was the best album of 2013 is just plain ridiculous

  • Ryan

    Okay, this makes me want to revisit the album - I felt similarly to you about his debut and was WAY let down (since most the dope tracks were mixtape recycles) compared to what I had grown to expect. I listened to this album a few times on Spotify, which I will do again with an open mind based on your write-up. Thanks!

  • Tyler Reaux

    yeah man i didnt give it that much thougth but what your saying makes a lot of sense. I can't say either whether its the best but its up there.

  • Ghost Of Len Bias

    Strong points, but agree to disagree.

    One point that I find flat-out wrong, however, is calling Drake unrelatable. It's the combo of those sappy, "Marvin's Room","From Time" -esque tracks, and anthems like "SFTB" and "WURST" that people cling to, that they FEEL. (see Ernest Baker's VICE article on WB being Song OTY http://noisey.vice.com/blog/drakes-worst-behavior-was-the-best-song-of-2013)

  • disqus_pyrGXaSTDx

    it was a poor year no doubt, best of a bad bunch maybe.

  • Frank Kennedy

    This album was... GOOD. IMO. Nothing more, nothing less. No song really stood out aside from Power Trip. Which was just a really good single that could appeal to multiple audiences. However, the rest of his cd was just GOOD. No real BAD songs, though no other songs that could be deemed instant songs. Songs that you automatically hit replay or skip to when you play the cd. It was very cohesive like his mixtapes, and that's exactly what it felt like. Yet even compared to The Warm Up & Friday Njght Lights which each had songs that were automatic replays to me (ex: Dreams, I Get Up, Lights Please, Before I'm Gone, Premeditated Murder) The TLC song was radio ready with very introspective lyrics attached to a poppy hook and beat, however, unlike the songs I listed, I don't find myself playing it on blast, quoting lyrics. It's just a cd full of "j cole beats" and "j cole verses." Which isn't a bad thing. But for those who've been following him since The Come Up, we know he can do better. As an artist who can make songs that appeal to the mainstream while also maintaining his personality in his songs, it seemed like he was deemed for greatness ala Kanye West, however, he's 2/2 on underachieving albums. Not commercially, just musically.

  • biff tannen

    Great album but as far as mainstream hip hop albums go, ASAP Rocky had the AOTY imo.

    But Born Sinner is second.

  • Beard Gawd

    I'd say it's definitely one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. It's not my favourite but I can see why someone says it's the best. I feel like, the biggest issue with Cole is his production (which he improved on this album) but it's still 'boring'. I want to hear an album where he doesn't produce the majority of the songs. By doing that, musically... I think the best of Cole is still to come.

    • biff tannen

      Agreed.

    • wat

      This is pretty much the comment I already made lol

      • Beard Gawd

        Yeah, I know. Fuck. I noticed after I wrote mine, lol. Completely agree with your comment.

  • Swag

    MNIMN THIS MUTHAFUKIN PUSHA T!!!! HE DON'T SING HOOKS!!!!!!!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6uk4Ogo3U8&feature=youtu.be DynamicShots

    It's crazy that you wrote this article, because just a couple days ago I was listening to this album thinking damn, why didn't I give this more play. I mean I listened to it when it first came out but eventually started getting on other shit and forgot about it. I just happened to come back to it and gained a new found love for it. I don't know if I'd put it at the top of the year but nonetheless nice article.

  • AndOneill

    Its a great album! For me it still has its filler tracks in there that I would skip, j Cole been one of my favourite artists out over the last few years, he has a classic in him. I think born sinner is another giant leap for cole. I think his next album will be his best! Friday nite lights level!! This was a great read tho. This album deserves the shine. It did great numbers aswell!

  • 91&^UP

    Just because it was sequenced well and was cohesive doesn't make it great.

    It was solid, but wasn't progressive by any means. Zero humour. Tired subject matter, with unremarkable lyricism. Solid beats, but again, nothing special or new.

    Listen to No Poison, No Paradise by Black Milk, Or Piece De Resistance by MeLo-X for everything Born Sinner lacked.

    • BOOOOOM

      was with you till the melo-x comment. his album was hot or miss. co-sign black milk though.

  • StudentOfTheGame

    i downloaded the album when it leaked a week before it dropped. (i still bought a physical copy) and by the time it hit the shelves i was tired of the album lol. i'm not saying anything negative, i just played it out. out of ALL the albums that came out this year. Born Sinner was the one i listen through with out skipping and enjoying the whole thing. Album of the year goes to Cole. MY OPINION.

  • MewLover34

    AOTY? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • Travis Petersen

    Anyone else like Black Milk's No Poison No Paradise? Still think MNIMN > Born Sinner > Yeezus

  • linneasnow

    I've been contemplating who deserves the best album of 2013, and Beyonce aside, in my opinion I think Born Sinner deserves it. I loved your reasoning and found it very similar to mine, minus the nitty gritty details you had. Born Sinner is the type of album I will never get sick of, and can sit down and listen to every song over and over again and not get tired of them. I think the purity of the album is excellent.

  • Adam Friedman

    sounds identical to my review I wrote in June!! I used to run a blog myself shake, keep it up homie! http://t.co/F3zuxx8L2C

  • Jonathan Westfield

    Born sinner was definitely album of the year. It seems as if he can be an acquired taste for some, but J. Cole's lyrical ability, vision and production are on point. Boring??? Negative he is in tune and makes music for the soul...People don't like to get deep and think and for that reason people can't tolerate his song structure. But it's passionate and artistic. This level of cohesiveness isn't seen on any other project this year except maybe Yeezus & NWTS (which isn't close to AOTY) and that's why the production all seems similar and dark. The album is a chapter in a long story Cole is telling. Chapters do not jump around with difference they stay in their lane and lead up to another chapter. Albums in the 60's, 70's & 80's used the same key instruments and feel and there were tons of albums that were phenomenal during that era (Marvin Gaye's What's Goin On For Example)...Some albums are meant to feel the same all the way through. It's one body of work not a bunch of pieces of art to make a collage.But go back and listen to it all the way through and ask yourself if it album of the year again??? You'll see the truth. #ColeWorld

    • marty mcfly

      Just because people find his music boring dont mean they dont like to think. I've seen a thousand different comments from a thousand different people using the word "boring" to describe the sound of Cole's music since he's been out. Maybe its just true that dude is basically boring 9 times outta ten. And again, imo people need to get off this cohesive argument. Is have cohesion on an album a good thing? Yes BUT it can also make an album very bad if that cohesion doesn't sound good. If the songs start to sound the same and the vibe remains the same for too long then that cohesion can start to make the album sound stale and "boring".

    • MewLover34

      Mr Muthafuckin' eXquire's Kismet makes this nonsense sound like a fucking Bieber record. #ColeWorld...is another shitty album.

  • LOL

    No, never. Hip hop is dead, first and this guy is very overrated, second.

  • Ohms

    j. cole is a boring listen

    • MahHest

      ijs ive only ever heard the least intelligent of people i know say this lol...

      • Ohms

        that's hella tight. i'm proud of you!

  • Simba Don
  • CCHBKNY

    Insightful article for a solid album!! Definetly one of the better releases of last year and I honestly enjoyed it more then MCHG and Yeezus. However I feel Skyzoo A Dream Defferred and R.A. The Rugged Man's Legends Never Die can both have an argument made for Best Album of 2013. Good essay!!

    • AndOneill

      A dream deferred came out in 2012 man! Really slept on album thoooo

  • curtlsj

    J Cole sucks.

    • CJJ

      your mum sucks too, and she felt nice

  • Retro

    Oh and even though it's by far my most listened album from last year I disagree with it being AOTY. Great album but the issue with it is the fact that the 7 deadly sins motif left a lot to be desired subject matter wise. Make no mistake I understand conceptually that "substance" and the 7 deadly sins are contradictory, the problem with Cole's album is that it didn't address this issue. It claims to be "way darker this time" when it doesn't really delve that deep into the consequences of the 7 deadly sins and it doesn't really show how he's grown from that experience. The entire album is just a list of the sins when it could have been and should have been more. I know what Cole is capable of lyrically and it's better than this.

  • fonzo517

    good album but nowhere near album of the year imo

  • http://thatmorbidshit.tumblr.com/ FuckYouPayMe

    ..Nah.

  • cam

    I actually agree with this and I was just telling somebody this. I do think J.Cole's album is one of the best if the the best album of the year. The album does have consistency. And it is the exact opposite of what Sideline Story is. It's what Sideline Story was supposed to be. I actually think out of all of J.Cole's projects this one had the best production. Trouble, Villuminati &Power Trip all had some great production. I actually have no complaints about this album. I put this in my top albums along with WMWTSO, MNIMN, &NWTS. It is hard to put those albums in order, it's hard for me to even come up with a good album to put in my top 5. But this is definitely in the conversation for number 1!!!

    • MewLover34

      Jesus, do you only listen to completely mainstream artists? Not one of those albums should make your top 5.

      • biff tannen

        I lol'd

      • cam

        No I listen to everything but I consider things that don't come out the traditional way a mixtape. That's why Acid Rap, Innanetape, ESGN, BetterOffDEAD &Others ain't in there.

        • MewLover34

          I know what your saying, but if you don't have Kill The Architect in your top 5, you don't listen to rap.

  • Saugdenstock

    Agreed, my favorite rap album of the year. MMLP2 has better "standout" tracks but as an ablum Born Sinner is better.
    MCHG is shit, Yeezus gets the hype because it's "different" and it's from so-called 'genius' Kanye (let's be honest, there are 3 listenable tracks on it). Drake I just don't like (but I gotta say I enjoyed 2 tracks).

    btw. I probably am not aware of the trends but... is the statement 'Mp3Player = iPod' purposeful shortcut or just ignorance...?

    • MewLover34

      You know, everyone that hates Yeezus says it's shit, but it has "3 listenable tracks". Problem is, every jerk off has three different tracks. It's always totally opposite songs from the dude that was talking before him. If you add them all up, people love every track on the damn album. (expect the KuDi one, no one likes that one, unless....) Grats Ye, see you in 2016 when everyone is on the albums nuts.

      • Saugdenstock

        usually I'd say you're right but for me, in Yeezus case I think that there are 2 universally "listenable" (Bound 2, New Slaves) tracks so sticiking to your theory in only leaves one track to make up the whole album which might be difficult. In general Yeezus case is similiar to 808s - only this time the "oddity" caught on and it's praised. I'd like to add that I don't like Yeezus but I'm not like "you're an idiot for liking it cuz it's shit and you know nothing about the music".

  • andezac

    Without a shadow of a doubt the album is a slow burner, Rich Niggaz beat one of the best I've heard from him, I don't care what anyone else thinks; Jay Elec needs to jump on that for a remix or something. The only tracks I wasn't really feeling was she knows and The Born Sinner song at the end. The beat just didn't do it for me although the content was dope. After hearing Farewell on FNL I compare every album ending song to that.

  • NoWuff

    I have not seen enough development from J. Cole as an artist. He has so much to say about the same damn things.

  • I’mHonest

    People forgot drake hands down had the best album last year and I'm not even a drake fan... production was great.... lyrical ability was good...honesty and hit making ability was good ..top the charts sell was through the roof...sonically was a great album I would say His best one so far.... I know hip hop doesn't respect him but as long as he's putting up numbers.... killing features...and making hits we'll just have to deal with him lol... j Cole album was good...Jay-Z album sucked lyrically...yeezus was some experimental crap that doesn't impress u but makes u respect his effort in trying to brain wash us into liking it...greatest mixtape was nipsey hussel... very innovative. Eminems album was good except it sucked! Lol because drake is so over saturated right now due to a album full of hits we even hate to mention him now. Even kanye knows drake has the game right now... j Cole album was lost as soon as Jay-Z dropped killing j Cole time to have any shine... but kanye has made his album good literally by his great show performances that everyone raves about...and that's true hip hop! Drake hasn't done anything to grasp true hip hop fans after his album dropped... neither has j Cole...Jay-Z hbo artisy attempt was horrible and very popish...before his album was done he had already sold a million... which brought great production but horrible lyrical ability compared to a Jay-Z standard. The integrity of the album was influenced by money which made him lazy lyrically.... cause hell! He already had went platinum before he was even done! But that my truths to this post..

  • DOPE