Cole World: The Sideline Story
|Cole World: The Sideline Story|
|Studio album by J. Cole|
|Released||September 27, 2011|
|Recorded||October 2007 – August 2011|
|Label||Roc Nation, Columbia|
|Producer||J. Cole (also exec.) Jay-Z (co-exec.) No I.D., Brian Kidd, The University, L&X Music, Canei Finch, Ron Gilmore|
|J. Cole chronology|
|Singles from Cole World: The Sideline Story|
Cole World: The Sideline Story is the debut studio album by American rapper J. Cole. The album was released on September 27, 2011 under Roc Nation with distribution from Sony Music. The album is his first studio release, following three successful mixtapes. Production was handled mainly by Cole himself, with some production from high-profile producer No I.D. It includes features from Trey Songz, Drake, Jay-Z, and Missy Elliott. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 218,000 units sold in the first week following its release.
The album was one of the most anticipated releases of 2011 due to the sharp rise in Cole's popularity and mainstream fan base. Cole's lyrics perhaps most strikingly deal with issues such as abortion and the consequences of growing up in a fatherless household. However, these themes are incorporated alongside more introspective issues such as relationships, family problems, fame and attempting to be successful - an area which very much links in with the subtitle of the album 'The Sideline Story'. Upon its release, the album was generally well received by critics, who praised the wholesomeness of the album.
On April 25, 2011, Vibe listed him at number five on their Vibe's list of Greatest Rappers Alive 30 Under 30. Cole was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2011 BET Awards. On May 3, 2011 J. Cole stated on Twitter, "All singles done. Album ridiculous. Title Perfect. Music incredible. Thank you for your patience. Let's change the game." On June 21, 2011 Cole tweeted, "Cole World: The Sideline Story", the album's title. He then tweeted "9/27," the release date. In June 2011 he announced that the recording of the album was finished, and that the release date is set for September later that year.
J. Cole said several of the tracks are songs he held onto before he was signed. He said they were too good to give away on mix tapes. J. Cole stated that he had 16 tracks on the album, 12 of which he has produced himself. He also revealed that he would not release a pre-album mixtape like he previously stated. Instead, every Sunday until the album he released songs that did not make the album. The bundles of songs released are called Any Given Sundays. J. Cole has said that the reason for the subtitle "The Sideline Story" is because he feels since being signed to Jay-Z it has been like someone being on the sidelines for their favorite basketball team, and they're just waiting until the coach puts them in.
Recording and production
The album includes production from J. Cole himself, Brian Kidd, No I.D. and L&X Music J. Cole wants his fans to expect a different sound, while he speaks about topics that have never been included in mainstream hip hop music before. The Source magazine said that Cole's "evolution as a producer solely enhances the product" and that "Outside of co-production from No I.D., this album is all Cole at his rawest. J Cole said the production on the song "Lost Ones" was influenced by New Zealand music artist Alex Gilbert. This album also features live Orchestra and Musical Sections arranged and produced by Larrance Dopson of 1500 or nothin, with violin recorded by Ginny Luke on "Rise and Shine", "Lost Ones", and "Breakdown". During the final moments of working on his album, when Cole had lost hope for his dream collaboration with Jay-Z, he explained to Vibe how the collaboration came to fruition, "He was in L.A. and I got [there] that day around the VMAs or whatever. He actually pushed back the mastering, we went to mastering with no Jay-Z verse. I was like 'oh okay cool, I guess he can’t do it.' They were mastering the last song, and this is such a Jay-Z move, he called in and stopped the mastering and pushed it back like a week. Only he can do that."
Singles and album cuts
The album's first intended single was "Who Dat". Released on June 8, 2010, it was produced by Cole and Elite. The song failed to garner J. Cole the attention needed to drop a major label debut, the song was thought not to have made the final cut due to the song being released sixteen months prior to the album's release and its lackluster performance on the charts: however, the song appears as a bonus track on the iTunes edition as well as Daddy's Little Girl. J. Cole explained he kept the song on the album and included it as a bonus track because "[it] connects the past two years to everything." In honor of the second anniversary of his highly acclaimed mixtape The Warm Up, Cole released "Work Out" on June 15, 2011. The song, produced by Cole himself, samples "The New Workout Plan" by Kanye West and interpolates "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul. The second single, "Can't Get Enough" originally leaked on the internet on July 26, 2011. Produced by Brian Kidd and featuring Trey Songz, the song was officially released on August 30, 2011. The song samples "Paulette" as performed by Balla et ses Balladins, the original music being "Boma l'heure" from the Congolese artists TP OK Jazz. "Mr. Nice Watch", which features Jay-Z, was solicited to urban radio as the album's third single on October 4, 2011. On October 24, 2011, J. Cole confirmed that the album's next single would be "Nobody's Perfect", which features Missy Elliott. It officially impacted Urban radio on February 7, 2012.
At a listening session in New York City, J. Cole previewed the album to a select few, including Insanul Ahmed of Complex. At the listening session it was revealed the song "In the Morning" featuring Drake off his Friday Night Lights mixtape would appear on the album. Cole defended this decision saying, he felt the song never got the push it deserved, and he wanted it to reach more people. Another song that was previously released on another project The Warm Up, was "Lights Please". Cole explained this song was the track that won over his manager Mark Pitt and Jay-Z. The interlude, was revealed to be a quick skit where Cole talks about the day he found out Jay-Z wanted to sign him. As soon as Cole got the good news he was pulled over and ended up spending the night in jail for parking violations. Even so, he explains that it was “the easiest time ever” because he knew success was coming around the corner. The track "Rise and Shine" opens with a sample from the documentary, Backstage where Jay-Z is talking about finding that one great artist that he’ll sign. "Dollar and a Dream III" was revealed, the third in the "Dollar and a Dream series" following the two from his first two mixtapes. In an interview with VIBE Cole admitted that he originally wanted Jay-Z to appear on the song "God's Gift" rather than "Mr. Nice Watch." He continued saying, "Everything worked out, I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason. Like, when he did that, it made way more sense than my song. It’s a bigger record, a more universal record. Being the hip-hop nerd that I am, I would have loved to hear Jay-Z on that ["God's Gift"] beat. But really, I’m fine on that song alone." J. Cole released "Mr. Nice Watch" himself through the internet, for promotional purposes, on September 14, 2011. The song contains elements of Dubstep and Electronica. Despite not being released as a single, "Mr. Nice Watch" debuted on the U.S. Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number eighty-seven on the week of October 1, 2011. Two days before the album's release, J. Cole released a music video for the bonus track, "Daddy's Little Girl". On October 25, J. Cole released a three-year old never-before seen music video for the track, "Lost Ones".
|Los Angeles Times|||
Cole World: The Sideline Story received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 75, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly praised the album and wrote that it "is a well-rounded effort, and deeper than most..". Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times gave the album a mixed review, commenting that "J. Cole’s early-onset veteran status also saps some of the energy you’d hope to hear on a debut.", but also commended J. Cole on the "satisfying confidence with which J. Cole delivers his rhymes." David Jeffries of Allmusic stated, "Take a couple listens, let it sink in, and then discover that Cole World is one hell of a debut." Rolling Stone's Jody Rosen commented that the album "Cole is brainier than most mainstream MCs but too flashy for the underground" adding that "the melodrama feels rote; the rhymes hit the mark but the stories leave you cold." Matthew Cole of Slant Magazine complimented the album, saying that "the only thing Cole World really wants for is the kind of out-of-the-park highlight that would pull the whole album together." Adam Fleishcer of XXL Magazine mentioned Cole's high expectations, stating that "But it’s these same factors that have positioned J. Cole’s major label debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, in an uphill battle against expectations.", and praising J. Cole, stating "Cole’s DIY methods—producing the bulk of the album, enlisting limited guests—are admirable if, at times, restrictive."  Kazeem Famuyide of The Source gave the album a positive review, stating that "All in all, Cole World: The Sideline Story has more bright spots than lowlights and serves as a solid debut..".
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 218,000 copies in its first-week of sales. As of December 2, 2011, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments and sales of 500,000 copies. As of April 2012, the album has sold over 600,000 copies. The album has sold over 660,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.
|1.||"Intro"||Jermaine Cole||J. Cole||1:22|
|2.||"Dollar and a Dream III"||Cole||The University, J. Cole (co.), Canei Finch (add.), Ron Gilmore (add.)||4:43|
|3.||"Can't Get Enough" (featuring Trey Songz)||Cole, Tremaine Neverson||Brian Kidd||3:45|
|4.||"Lights Please"||Cole||J. Cole||3:28|
|6.||"Sideline Story"||Cole||J. Cole||3:57|
|7.||"Mr. Nice Watch" (featuring Jay-Z)||Cole, Shawn Carter||J. Cole||3:57|
|8.||"Cole World"||Cole||J. Cole||3:04|
|9.||"In the Morning" (featuring Drake)||Cole, Aubrey Graham, Leslie Merceron, Xavier Smith||L&X Music||3:54|
|10.||"Lost Ones"||Cole||J. Cole||4:23|
|11.||"Nobody's Perfect" (featuring Missy Elliott)||Cole, Missy Elliott||J. Cole||3:10|
|12.||"Never Told"||Cole, Ernest Wilson||No I.D.||3:31|
|13.||"Rise and Shine"||Cole||J. Cole||4:34|
|14.||"God's Gift"||Cole||J. Cole||3:32|
|16.||"Work Out"||Cole, Kanye West, Bosco Kante, Elliot Wolff, John Stephens, Miri Ben-Ari, Sukmeke Rainey||J. Cole||3:54|
|iTunes Store bonus tracks|
|17.||"Who Dat"||Cole, André Benjamin, Antwan Patton, Patrick Brown, Anthony Parrino||J. Cole, Elite (co.)||3:58|
|18.||"Daddy's Little Girl"||Cole||J. Cole||3:03|
• (co.) Co-producer
• (add.) Additional production
- Sample credits
- "Dollar and a Dream III" contains a sample of "Darkness Of The Unknown" as composed by Yoko Shimomura (from the Kingdom Hearts II OST).
- "Can't Get Enough" contains a sample of "Paulette" as performed by Balla et ses Balladins.
- "Lights Please" contains a sample of "Theme From the Planets" as composed by Dexter Wansel.
- "Sideline Story" contains an interpolation of "The World Is a Place" as performed by Rhythm.
- "Mr. Nice Watch" contains an interpolation of "A Million and One Questions/Rhyme No More" by Jay-Z
- "In the Morning" interpolates "Can I Get A" by Jay-Z and interpolates "Hold Ya Head" by 2pac.
- "Nobody's Perfect" contains an interpolation of "Think" as performed by Curtis Mayfield.
- "Rise and Shine" contains a sample of "Arise, Shine" as performed by Greg Dykes and The Synanon Choir.
- "God's Gift" contains a sample of "Francisco" as performed by Milton Nascimento and interpolates "1st of Tha Month" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
- "Breakdown" contains a sample of "Bells" as performed by Eero Koivistoinen and an interpolation of "Breakdown" as performed by Mariah Carey and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
- "Work Out" contains a sample of "The New Workout Plan" as performed by Kanye West and interpolates "Straight Up" as performed by Paula Abdul.
- "Who Dat" contains a sample of "Godofallofus" as performed by New Hope and interpolates "SpottieOttieDopalicious" as performed by OutKast.
- Executive producers: Carter Administration, Mark Pitts, and J. Cole
- A&R: Ibrahim Hamad and Rich Kleiman
- A&R Coordination: Julius Garcia and Sharde Simpson
- A&R Operations: Damien Alexander
- Mastered by: Tom Coyne at Sterling Sound Mastering (New York, NY)
- Management: Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts for ByStorm Management
- U.S. Marketing: Liz Hausle and Chaka Pilgrim
- International Marketing: Natalya Davis
- Media Relations & Publicity: Jana Fleishman
- Art Direction & Graphic Design: Alex Haldi for Bestest Asbestos
- J. Cole Legal: Kenny Meiselas
- Roc Nation Legal: Jennifer Justice
- Photography: Leann Mueller
Charts and certifications
- "J. Cole Announces Album Title, Release Date". Rap-Up.com. 2011-06-21.
- Caulfield, Keith (October 5, 2011). "J. Cole Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200, Blink-182 Snags No. 2". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- The BIG List: The Greatest Rapper Alive (Under 30!) Vibe
- "Best New Artist : BET Awards". BET. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- Cole, Jermaine (May 3, 2011). "Twitter / @JColeNC: All singles done. Album ri ..". Twitter. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "J. Cole Announces Album Title, Release Date". Rap-Up. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Yuen, Vince (2011-06-21). "J. Cole Announces Debut Album Title". Wegotthiscovered.com. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "J. Cole Buildn his manager Angel maldonado after he has been signed to a record label". MTV. 2010-06-30.
- "Any Given Sunday". Sony Music. 2011-08-01.
- Koroma, Salima (30 June 2010). "J. Cole Says Debut Due For October Release". HipHopDX.com. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- Roberts, Steven (6 May 2010). "J. Cole Eyeing August For Debut's Release". MTV.com. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "J. Cole Confirms Trey Songz Single, Still Lacks A Release Date". HipHopDX.
- "The Source - Album Preview: Cole World: The Sideline Story". thesource.com. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "V Exclusive: J. Cole On His Jay-Z Collaboration 'Mr. Nice Watch'". vibe.com. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- J. Cole Debuts His First Single “Work Out”, Off His Upcoming Debut Album MissInfo.tv
- J. Cole's Work Out sample of Kanye West's The New Workout Plan WhoSampled
- J. Cole's Work Out sample of Paula Abdul's Straight Up WhoSampled
- "Urban Radio Adds (October 4, 2011)". allaccess.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "Urban/UAC Future Releases | R&B, Hip Hop, Release Schedule and Street Dates |". Allaccess.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "J. Cole Says His Sophomore Album Will Arrive In June 2012".
- WebCite query result
- "Album Preview: J. Cole "Cole World: The Sideline Story"". Complex. 19 August 2011. p. 1. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "Album Preview: J. Cole "Cole World: The Sideline Story"". Complex. 19 August 2011. p. 12. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "Album Preview: J. Cole "Cole World: The Sideline Story"". Complex. 19 August 2011. p. 6. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "Album Preview: J. Cole "Cole World: The Sideline Story"". Complex. 19 August 2011. p. 9. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "Album Preview: J. Cole "Cole World: The Sideline Story"". Complex. 19 August 2011. p. 7. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Tweet 113847287129702400. Twitter.
- "Top Hip-Hop and R&B Songs and Singles Charts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
- Jeffries, David (2011-09-27). "Cole World: The Sideline Story - J. Cole". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Cole World: The Sideline Story review - J. Cole Review". MSN.com. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- Brad Wete (2011-09-22). "Cole World: The Sideline Story review". EW.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Wood, Mikael (September 26, 2011). "Album review: J. Cole's 'Cole World: The Sideline Story'". Los Angeles Times. Eddy Hartenstein. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- Greene, Jayson (2011-09-30). "J. Cole: Cole World: The Sideline Story | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Amidon, David (2011-10-13). "J. Cole: Cole World: The Sideline Story". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- Jody Rosen (2011-09-27). "Cole World: The Sideline Story | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "J. Cole: Cole World: The Sideline Story | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Mlynar, Phillip (2011-09-27). "J. Cole, 'Cole World: The Sideline Story' (Roc Nation)". SPIN.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "J. Cole, Cole World: The Sideline Story". Xxlmag.Com. 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Cole World: The Sideline Story Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Wete, Brad (September 22, 2011). "Cole World: The Sideline Story". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- Jeffries, David (2011-09-29). "Cole World: The Sideline Story - Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Rosen, Jody (September 27, 2011). "Cole World: The Sideline Story". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Cole, Matthew (September 27, 2011). "Music Review: J Cole :Cole World The Sideline Story". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Flesicher, Adam (September 27, 2011). "J. Cole, Cole World: The Sideline Story". XXL Magazine. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- Famuyide, Kazeem (September 29, 2011). "Review: J. Cole - Cole World: The Sideline Story". The Source. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- Horowitz, Steven J. (2011-12-02). "J. Cole Receives Gold Certification For "Cole World: The Sideline Story" | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Jacobs, Allen (2012-04-18). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 4/15/2012 | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Jason, Lipshutz. "J. Cole Defends Crown on 'Miss America' Track: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "Chartifacts - Week Commencing: 10th October 2011". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on October 11, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- "RIANZ". RIANZ. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "RIAA – Gold & Platinum: "J. Col"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 26, 2011.