Just like Joey Bada$$, J Cole seems to be gearing up for his next album “The Falloff” with his brand new “Lewis Street” EP. With a running time of nine minutes, the project contains only two songs. I’m intrigued to see what approach Cole will take to these cuts, especially after his controversial “Snow on tha Bluff” single. As he has hinted at a possible retirement, I have high hopes for these records as many hip hop fans, including myself, think Jermaine still has a lot to prove. With all of that out the way, its time to see how Cole’s final run will commence!
‘The Clime Back” opens up with a powerful monologue where a mysterious voice questions Cole’s intentions with the powerful platform he now has. Following this, a self-produced instrumental consisting of some redundant drums and a chopped up soul sample loops for a few seconds. After settling in, Cole enters the track singing about a few issues which plague the world. The first verse displays Jermaine showing off his lyrical talent as he mainly flaunts upon his self proclaimed dominance over the industry. The second hook is nearly identical to its predecessor except for the extra line “Now I know why they call it Blue”. The second verse is geared towards the more political side of things as Cole delivers powerful lines like “Survival at all costs, everyday niggas get logged off Bodies Get hauled off”. During the finale of the song, there is a tone switch where Cole talks about the need for a homicide hotline and other additions to make communities around the nation safer for all living in them. Along with Cole the second cut, “Lion King on Ice” is produced by Jetsonmade and T-Minus. The instrumental on this one is a lot faster-paced, yet it feels boring with its basic trap drums and annoying chopped up vocal sample. Lyrically, various potent subjects are addressed. Lines like “Too many done died in these parts” and “Some niggas won’t make it past summer” show Coles’s practical attitude to violence occurring in the world right now. On the other side of things, Cole references back to his song “1985” from his 2018 effort “KOD” as he tells listeners he was right in saying most of the upcoming talent from that time has already fallen off. Overall, it is evident Cole had a lot on his mind, and he got across what he wanted to say reasonably well for the most part.
In conclusion, “Lewis Street” was an enjoyable but grounded tease from J Coles’s next album. Despite having their issues, I enjoyed both of the tracks as they displayed some intriguing trains of thought. My most substantial criticism with these cuts was that the production felt bland and uninspired. Going forward, I hope “The Falloff” builds upon these tracks with more in-depth lyricism and lavish production, and then, Cole may indeed make something special.