Born Sinner

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Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 337 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the rapper features guest appearances from Amber Coffman, Miguel, and Kendrick Lamar.
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Top Track

Power Trip
Got me up all night All I'm singing is love songs, she got me up all night Constant drinking and love songs, she got me up all night Down and out... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jun 19, 2013
    90
    Overall, Born Sinner is an impressive effort.
  2. Like Illmatic it eschews pop emoluments, and conceptually it's just as canny.
  3. Jun 17, 2013
    80
    "Crooked Smile" with special guests TLC is a genuine, mature step in the right direction and will have no trouble reaching vintage age. A handful of other numbers carry that same weight, making Born Sinner a daring step forward for Cole and an exciting attempt at mastering Jay's Blueprint style.
  4. Jun 18, 2013
    70
    The flawed set is buoyed by its clear vision and diverse musicality.
  5. If Born Sinner proves anything, it’s that he’s not ready to take the fall, but he as a long way to go if he wants to rope off an area all his own in hip hop’s evolution.
  6. Jun 18, 2013
    63
    Cole's not an especially charismatic MC, but he has a welcome self-awareness and good taste in backdrops.
  7. Jul 9, 2013
    40
    There are some solid points buried deep down in the wreckage of Cole’s seven-bar pileup, but you’ll have to sift through a great, big, ambivalent pile of solecisms in order to get to them. As it turns out, that holds true for the vast majority of Born Sinner.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 88
  2. Negative: 2 out of 88
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    10
    J. Cole takes a step up with Born Sinner. Leading up to it with the Truly Yours series he sets the stage for a thematically organized andJ. Cole takes a step up with Born Sinner. Leading up to it with the Truly Yours series he sets the stage for a thematically organized and poignant album that illuminates Jermaine Cole's journey in the rap industry and showcases his ability as a lyricist. Expand
  2. Jun 17, 2013
    10
    Production was topnotch. Storytelling was incredible. Cole's flow and bars were very impressive. Nice to have an album you can play throughProduction was topnotch. Storytelling was incredible. Cole's flow and bars were very impressive. Nice to have an album you can play through the end and not want to skip songs. major improvement from Cole World. Cole really delivers. Expand
  3. Jun 17, 2013
    10
    Amazing album. Huge step up from his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, production and lyric wise. Best HIP HOP album dropping onAmazing album. Huge step up from his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, production and lyric wise. Best HIP HOP album dropping on June 18th. Support the man! Expand
  4. Mar 11, 2015
    9
    This album is one that you have to find a nice seat and some decent headphones for and it's worth it! At time it can be a little heavy, butThis album is one that you have to find a nice seat and some decent headphones for and it's worth it! At time it can be a little heavy, but it's honest. The weight of his convictions about hip hop are real, and I respect that...a lot. Take the time and understand his metaphorical analogies throughout the record.

    I loved this album. It remains my favorite album to listen to. I've sat down and listened to the whole thing over and over because I just love it. It will never get old to me, it's a classic.
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  5. Jun 18, 2013
    8
    J Cole's new album is a very mellow one. I thought it would be boring, but this is a mellow album done right! Lyrically, Born Sinner is evenJ Cole's new album is a very mellow one. I thought it would be boring, but this is a mellow album done right! Lyrically, Born Sinner is even better than Yeezus and Watching Tv With the Sound Off, but for the production Yeezus AND Watching Tv were better.

    Production: 7/10
    Lyrics: 9/10
    Final: 8/10
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  6. Jun 17, 2013
    8
    “It’s the feeling in the air you bout to drop a real classic
    He said Cole, “A lil’ birdy told me on the low you got an Illmatic”
    Nobody
    “It’s the feeling in the air you bout to drop a real classic
    He said Cole, “A lil’ birdy told me on the low you got an Illmatic”
    Nobody touching Nas it’s more like Villematic” Villematic (Friday Night Lights)
    It’s entirely too early to determine what the status of this album will be in the years to come, although we do live in a generation that gives the title of classic to just about every album 30 minutes after downloading a leak, but for what it’s worth, the anticipation, the hype, and the build up for J.Cole’s 2nd album is what a lot of people were looking forward to for quite some time. I think it’s because Sideline Story was such a disappointment for many that the expectations were either: high, low, or simply in the happy medium. I know that I was prepared for this album because of the first single that he put out, his feature verses (Pray by The Game also featuring JMSN is the notable one), and his growing strength in producing is what had me enticed as to what we’ll hear. Also, the fact that he moved up release date to compete with Kanye West shows that he has the confidence in his music that he can go toe to toe with the great ones. He has a quote later on in the album that says: “long live the idols, may they never be your rivals” and Kanye West is definitely idolized by many, so why not share the same spotlight with one of the greats? It would make sense to me.
    The title of the album Born Sinner is a reflection of the fact that when you’re born, you’re already surrounded by the world’s wrongs which become to manifest around you. A line that I’m thinking of right now is Kendrick Lamar’s from Ab-Soul’s Outro on Section.80:
    “you ever see a newborn baby kill a grown man? That’s an analogy for how the world makes me react. My innocence’s been dead”
    The picture of the baby with Deviled horns symbolizes that we’re unknown to the fact that we essentially sin from Day 1, but it’s not until we grow and receive an understanding of just what it is that’s so sinful. Religion, spirituality; whatever you believe in, they’ve been common topics throughout Hip Hop as of recent that have been constantly spoken upon, and it’s something that a lot of young people can relate to (which is primarily his target audience) because like myself, I’m not very religious, and I do question a lot of things that I’ve been exposed to when it comes to having a belief in a higher power or the Bible itself. Everything comes down the Kanye’s line in Gorgeous, which I’m sure I’ve regurgitated through several of my reviews, but it works here:
    “Is Hip Hop just a euphemism for a new religion?”

    Keep Reading http://dopedrops.com/2013/06/j-cole-born-sinner-review/
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  7. Jun 19, 2013
    0
    The same old music from J Cole. The same old. Nothing new here folks. Sorry but this album is trashy. It seems like the songs are left overThe same old music from J Cole. The same old. Nothing new here folks. Sorry but this album is trashy. It seems like the songs are left over from the sideline story.........next time maybe? Expand

See all 88 User Reviews