Local Massachusetts rapper and producer, Danny Goncalves aka D-Man is a big fan of the most talked about Hip Hop artist right now, J. Cole. But just because he’s a fan doesn’t mean he won’t speak out about faults he has found with J. Cole’s “Cole World: TheSideline Story” which sold 217, 000 copies in its first week and is #1 on the Billboard Charts.
While D-Man feels the lyrics are the stronger part of the album, he feels as though they came off too “preachy”.
“When you need to give a fussy child medicine and he simply will not take it, it’s fruitless to try and force them to take it. But if you sneak the medicine into something he likes such as applesauce; he will take it without even noticing it and that’s where I feel like J. Cole went wrong,” D-Man said. “Instead of trying to finesse some knowledge into our heads, he tried to beat us over our head with it and that simply makes for a boring album.”
D-Man believes that all debut albums should stand for something and while J. Cole’s album did a lot of preaching, it failed to represent something or tell a story. When compared to Hip Hop King, Nas’s debut album “Illmatic” and his rival turned ally Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt,” “Cole World: A Sideline Story” misses the mark.
“Nas’s ‘Illmatic’ (D-Man’s favorite Hip Hop album) stood for every urban youth who lived in subpar conditions in the ghetto and was looking for a way out, a ray of hope of some sorts. Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’ was the story of a street hustler’s life from his ups of flashing Benzes and flashing Rolex watches around to the lows of getting arrested by the police, having rival dealers as enemies and the ultimate loss of life,” D-Man said. “I felt none of those from J. Cole’s album and felt as if they were tracks thrown together, instead of an amalgam of his life and views on life.”
One of the biggest criticisms of the album in Hip Hop Blog’s, websites and magazines is on J. Cole’s efforts to produce most of the album. XXL Magazine called his effort in producing most of the album “admirable if, at times restrictive”. D-man shares this same opinion. Because of who J. Cole is associated with (Kanye West, Jay-Z) he has the capability to work with some of the biggest producers in the music industry. D-Man thinks that he didn’t take advantage of this which resulted in mediocre production.
“Granted some of the beats were pretty good, he should have gotten some help from established producers with a proven track record of hits and great production to craft some of his backdrops of his songs, but instead he chose to bear the grunt of the most of the work and it simply didn’t pay off in my eyes,” D-man said.
D-man started rapping at 10 years old when his sister brought home the Nas’s “I Am” album. At 13 years old he got tired of rapping over instrumentals and began producing his own beats. He has worked with other local artist and has opened shows for established acts. He has been featured on many blogs including Blogger House and publications across the nation. He will be releasing his sophomore mixtape on Oct. 15. All the details on the mixtape cannot be released at this time.