Analysis Of J Cole 's Third Studio Album, Born Sinner Essay

Analysis Of J Cole 's Third Studio Album, Born Sinner Essay

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J Cole’s second studio album, Born Sinner, runs for fifty-nine minutes and twenty-eight seconds; however, its effect on an audience is indelible. The album implements a clever duality between reflection at sin and rejoice at morality. Furthermore, the album is bifurcated so that the sin occupies the beginning of the album and the morality occupies the end of it. The sum of these parts results in more than a collection of songs, but a cry of spiritual expression. Cole skillfully employs seriality in order to plant specific themes of sin, God, life, and morality into the listener’s mind. These themes then grow and deepen with each new song. Overall, Cole’s use of seriality exemplifies why his album, Born Sinner, is a permanent form of spiritual expression.
There is a unique process undertaken during the creation of an album, and on a micro-level there is a unique process in the creation of a track. Before either can begin, some form of emotion must move the artist. This emotion is then a consistent force throughout the creative process. This emotion is also permanent. Cole feels a variety of emotions with each song he creates on this album, and that can’t be changed. If his feelings do change, then he must make an entirely new album. The expression of how Cole felt during the creation of his album is then an important way of understanding why Born Sinner is a permanent form of spiritual expression. Moreover, Cole’s use of seriality helps us decode his emotions.
Rhetorical questions are ubiquitous on this album. Every song involves a lyric where Cole poses an idea or frustration to the listener. For example, in the song “Power Trip” he raps: “No heater, but a [guy] made heat, may I vent?” (0:53-0:55) and the hook recites, “Would yo...


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...d 's plan, you can never understand” (2:20-2:28). Cole states that he’s upset about disappointing a friend, but quickly spins around and stands by his actions. Cole claims that “this is God’s plan, and you can never understand,” which demonstrates an exclusive and personal relationship with God. Earlier, Cole was the one who didn’t understand God, but now he understands his plan so well that he is unapologetic to those who are still befuddled. Cole continually alludes to his relationship with God to illustrate that he created more than an album, but an ameliorated relationship with God in the process. In summary, rhetorical questions, sadness, and a growth with god reflect his feelings during the development of the album, and those feelings are permanently cemented in various aspects of each song. This is one way his album is a permanent form of spiritual expression.

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