Say what you like about J Cole but the pressure associated with living up to the standards of an artist you admire is no easy feat. On the track “Let Nas Down”, Cole addresses how much of an inspiration Nas was for him coming up in the game, to finally meeting him on tour dealing with the pressure of being in that creative limbo between needing to put out a radio record and staying true to his lyrical artistry. To be honest, when I first heard the track it gave me shivers down my spine. It’s deep, meaningful and comes with a well self-produced instrumental. I thought it was a bold move from J Cole but you could tell it was from the heart.
Then when I heard the reply by Nas, it certified (in my eyes at least) why I believe him to be one of the greatest rappers to ever grace the mic. The fact Nas actually responded to the track is an achievement in itself and to shout him out too. I was gassed for Cole. If you haven’t checked out “Born Sinner“, I suggest you do so. It’s a versatile piece of work and for a “commercial” album, he really pushes the boundaries of staying true to the artform as well as appealing to the average listener (or consumers that don’t actually take the time to dissect the passion put into producing and writing good music).