October 21, 2011, 2:26 pm Pauline Benson Yahoo! New Zealand



With this mostly self-produced album, Cole takes you on a personal journey into his life; sharing insight into his upbringing. It also gives you a very honest view of the poverty, hardship and strife that affects his community. His lyrics hold nothing back.

Cole‘s powerful storytelling lyrics (and with his talent to produce them) are one of the reasons this why album stands out - and got this young artist backed by the likes of Jay-Z.

It was interesting to read that growing up, without a DJ or producer to provide a beat for his lyrics, Cole began creating his own sound using a beat machine given as a present by his mother. Lyrics, I should mention, that he began writing at age 15. It is this hard working approach that has helped this talented rapper/songwriter get him to where he is today.

Even though each song shares a similar theme of hardship, I felt there was a good range of tracks on the album.

“Work Out” is my favourite song on there and not surprising; it was the hit single that helped to propel this album - a track you may have already heard a few times on the airwaves.

The others were a little too strong and explicit for my taste, but don’t let that stop you from listening to his music. Cole has a large following and this album has been celebrated as “well worth the wait”. That is just one of many rave reviews this young 24-year old has received from press.

My only advice: don’t take the “Explicit” warning lightly.

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