“Momma said I should reconsider law school/That means I wear a suit and bend the truth, fulfill awful/You got a degree but what that cost you? You make a good salary just to pay Sallie Mae.” – J. Cole
Hollywood Cole is slowly but surely wresting the baton from whoever holds it these days. His latest, “Blow Up,” is a self-produced, laid-back heater about staying poised in the face of adversity. It’s an all too familiar concept but Cole manages to put a fresh spin on it, ignoring his mom’s advice in pursuit of fame and riches. He questions this decision in the next breath: “What’s the cost of living your dream?” But he doesn’t linger on this thought, because all “these hoes” want to know is “Nigga, where yo bread at?” and “Where yo whip at?” Cole has always been able to touch that balance between conscious and not-so-conscious. You might be tempted to judge his decisions, but by the end of the song you’re most likely going to respect him for his stark honesty.