Flashback Review: Friday Night Lights by J. Cole
By: Alexander Z.
Best 3 songs
“Partially functional, half of me is comfortable
The other half is close to the cliff like Mrs. Huxtable”
J. Cole starts Friday Night Lights with personal and motivational verses overtop of a soulful sample of Erykah Badu’s “Didn’t Cha Know”. This song introduces the listener to the what the rest of the mixtape is going to sound like. This song is arguably the best song of the mixtape due to the smooth production and the perceptive verses.
“Knew I would kill the game, premeditated murder
So if it comes down, may the best man win
No sweat like a headband”
J. Cole reflects on his life and how he is going to “change the rap game”. This song has witty and clever verses spread throughout the song. These verses allow for the song to come together and really demonstrate J. Cole’s production and rapping skills.
“Knee deep in the game, my chain heavy
Somebody get the pilot and ask is the plane ready
To handle all the weight on my shoulders we takin’ off”
This song really has no standout lyrics, but the production on this song bolsters it into the top three of the mixtape. The sampling of “My Man” by Billie Holiday and “Don’t Take it Personal (Just One of Dem Days)” by Monica is incredible. I wish the whole mixtape’s production was like this song.
Overall Mixtape Rating 87/100
Overall Friday Night Lights has many highlights in lyrics and production that I wish J. Cole would bring back into his arsenal in future albums. Songs like Premeditated Murder, Too Deep for the Intro, and Farewell demonstrate the “old J.cole’s” flow and verses. While songs like Cost Me a Lot, Home for the Holidays, and Blow up display J. Cole’s mastery of sampling. The reason why this mixtape is not rated higher is due to some of the songs including You Got It and Enchanted which aren’t on the same level as most of the mixtape. In conclusion, if you’re a new J. Cole fan and haven’t listened to this mixtape you should. If you’re an old J. Cole fan you should go back and listen to this mixtape again.
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