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Essentials: J. Cole

Fans of J. Cole might recall a time when the North Carolina rapper had little more than “A Dollar and A Dream.” After warming up with Cole World: The Sideline Story, and preparing to release Born Sinner though, it seems as if now the rapper has both in excess. Like many rappers, Cole considers no less than two chains, a bottle of Hennessy, and a hookah as necessary items. In another respect though, we find noise-canceling headphones, a pen and pad (rare in an age of smartphone raps), and even more convincingly: a copy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel is of great importance here, as it symbolizes what has made J. Cole’s music so appealing over the years: the balance between dark and light. Rediscover J. Cole’s balance with this special edition of Essentials, and be sure to pick up Born Sinner upon its June 25 release.

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