Born Sinner - J. Cole
Born Sinner Image
Metascore
71

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

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 261 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the rapper features guest appearances from Amber Coffman, Miguel, and Kendrick Lamar.
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: 5 out of 88
  1. 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
  2. Sep 21, 2013
    10
    A solid album by J. Cole. Most people hate on him because he went up against Kanye and has outsold him to this point. In due time Born SinnerA solid album by J. Cole. Most people hate on him because he went up against Kanye and has outsold him to this point. In due time Born Sinner will get it's proper recognition as an important album from an important artist. The impact it had with Nas, and Cole's boldness and bravado definitely make this his most interesting and inviting album. Multiple gems on this album. Expand
  3. VOL
    Jun 17, 2013
    10
    Cole's honesty and master storytelling throughout Born Sinner is something worthy of praise in itself. Each song serves it's purpose inCole's honesty and master storytelling throughout Born Sinner is something worthy of praise in itself. Each song serves it's purpose in allowing you into his world as he struggles to navigate through a corrupt society in hopes of finding himself.

    LAnd of the Snakes, Runaway, Rich N*ggaz, Forbidden Fruit, Crooked Smile, Let Nas Down and the album's title track are the milestones of this album.

    In the end Cole revels in the realization that self-fulfillment trumps any material gain, creating a truly inspirational tale. By the album's end Cole's triumph will resonate with any reader that has ever had to do any soul searching.
    Expand
  4. Jun 20, 2013
    9
    Leaps and bounds better than his freshman album, Cole's sophomore offering is impressive. I honestly haven't found a single song on the albumLeaps and bounds better than his freshman album, Cole's sophomore offering is impressive. I honestly haven't found a single song on the album that I wouldn't listen to again. The production is off the charts, and he has grown as a rapper tremendously. The skits (especially the first one) could have been left out, but overall I have listened to the album about 10 times now and it hasn't gotten old. It's not GKMC level greatness, but it's what I will be listening to for a while. Expand
  5. Jun 17, 2013
    9
    A great album in which you see a huge step forward in production. J. Cole is a great artist and this improvement in his production is whatA great album in which you see a huge step forward in production. J. Cole is a great artist and this improvement in his production is what makes Born Sinner so great. Expand
  6. Jun 21, 2013
    8
    Though the album doesn't compare to classics like "The Warm Up" or "Friday Night Lights," "Born Sinner" is a solid step up from "Cole World:Though the album doesn't compare to classics like "The Warm Up" or "Friday Night Lights," "Born Sinner" is a solid step up from "Cole World: The Sideline Story" both lyrically and production-wise. While the album can lull at times, the overall lyricism is on-point, making "Born Sinner" a worthwhile, enjoyable listen. Expand
  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