Friday Night Lights (mixtape)

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Friday Night Lights
Mixtape by J. Cole
Released November 12, 2010 (November 12, 2010)
Genre Hip hop
Label Roc Nation, Columbia, Sony
Producer J. Cole, Kanye West, Syience, L&X Music, Elite, Omen Bink!
J. Cole chronology
The Warm Up
Friday Night Lights
Cole World: The Sideline Story

Friday Night Lights is the third official mixtape from Fayetteville, North Carolina rapper J. Cole. It was released on November 12, 2010.[1] The mixtape was to originally be called Villematic and contain J. Cole's previous leaks and freestyles,[2] however, J. Cole later stated it would have original material.[3] The mixtape became the second most searched and trending topics on Google and Twitter respectively following its release.[4][5] Most songs on the mixtape were slated to be on his debut album at one point or another. J. Cole's Friday Night Lights won Best Mixtape of the Year at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2011. The mixtape has been viewed over 2,530,000 times, streamed over 721,000 times, and downloaded over 1,000,000 times on mixtape site DatPiff.[6] On June 26, 2013 J. Cole announced that he would be re-releasing The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights for retail sale, in order to give them the push they deserved.[7]


The original tracks on the mixtape were intended to be on J. Cole's debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story. However, because the label did not believe it would sell, Cole released the original songs with extra freestyles as a mixtape, but was forced to redo the entire album. "In The Morning" featuring Drake, was the only record from the mixtape to make the album cut.


A 30 second sample of "Vilematic" which samples Devil in a New Dress.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Producers who contributed to the tape are J. Cole himself, Bink, Kanye West, L&X Music, Syience, & long-time friends Elite and Omen.

Track information[edit]

The bonus track on the mixtape, "Looking for Trouble" was released for free on 7 November 2010 by Kanye West as part of his series G.O.O.D. Fridays where he released a song every Friday for multiple months until Christmas of 2010.[8]

A video for "In the Morning" was shot during a concert in Paris. J. Cole and Drake performed the song live on many occasions, such as Drake's Lights Dreams and Nightmares Tour. J. Cole said “It was my first time in Paris, and I got a text from Drake. And it was him just telling me he heard 'In The Morning' for the first time. My real fans will know that it's an older song,” J.Cole tells VIBE. “He said it was incredible, and I’ve always wanted to bring that record back to life because the original version I recorded in my bedroom—in my old crib, in my small room.” Feeling the time was right for two of rap’s most talked about rookies to team up, Cole calmly told Drake that he wanted to revamp the record.

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllHipHop 10/10[9]
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention)[10]
Pitchfork Media 7.3/10[11]

AllHipHop gave the mixtape a rare classic rating of 10/10 saying, "Friday Night Lights is a mixtape with very few blemishes and faults. Cole nicely nits together a very interesting precursor to his upcoming album “Cole World” and it holds its own as one of the most complete mixtapes of the year. Is he “The One”? Well we do not know that yet – but Friday Night Lights definitely has us paying attention." [12] In the same vein, Lost In The Sound gave the mixtape 88/100 saying, "Friday Night Lights is a great effort from Cole all around, showcasing both his lyrical and production talents, but still addressing all of the emotional issues that have become the ‘bread-and-butter’ of Cole’s musical repertoire." [13] Robert Christgau, writing for MSN Music, gave the mixtape a three-star honorable mention,[10] indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure."[14] He felt that there are several good songs, but few "irresistible ones", and cited both "Blow Up" and "Farewell" as highlights.[10]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Friday Night Lights (Intro)"   J. Cole 1:45
2. "Too Deep for the Intro"   J. Cole 3:45
3. "Before I'm Gone"   J. Cole 4:24
4. "Back to the Topic Freestyle"   Mario Winans, Carmelo Famouss, Bryan-Michael Cox 3:00
5. "You Got It" (featuring Wale) J. Cole 4:47
6. "Villematic"   Bink 3:13
7. "Enchanted" (featuring Omen) J. Cole, Omen 4:11
8. "Blow Up"   J. Cole 5:00
9. "Higher"   J. Cole 3:49
10. "In the Morning" (featuring Drake) L&X Music 3:54
11. "2Face"   Syience 4:46
12. "The Autograph"   J. Cole 3:43
13. "Best Friend"   Timbaland 3:25
14. "Cost Me a Lot"   J. Cole 3:18
15. "Premeditated Murder"   J. Cole 3:54
16. "Home for the Holidays"   J. Cole 3:55
17. "Love Me Not"   J. Cole 3:31
18. "See World"   Elite, J. Cole 4:14
19. "Farewell"   J. Cole 3:32
20. "Looking for Trouble" (featuring Pusha T, Kanye West, CyHi Da Prynce & Big Sean) Kanye West 5:35

Sample credits

Additional credits

  • "Home for the Holidays" features additional background vocals by Beyoncé


Charts Position[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
US Billboard 200[15] 7

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  1. ^ Night Lights. November 12, 2010., 2 November 2010
  2. ^ November 2nd, 2010., 2 November 2010
  3. ^ November 2nd, 2010., 2 November 2010
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "J. Cole - Friday Night Lights". DatPiff. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Looking For Trouble - GOOD Friday, 7 November 2010
  9. ^ Morel, Jacques. [3]. AllHipHop. Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  10. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (July 2, 2013). "Odds and Ends 031". MSN Music. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ Breihan, Tom. [4]. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  12. ^ "Reviews / Music : Review: J. Cole - Friday Night Lights". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  13. ^ "Review: J. Cole - Friday Night Lights". Lost In The Sound. 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "CG 90s: Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ 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. 

External links[edit]