“Work Out” by J. Cole

This is basically the same production as “The New Workout Plan” by Kanye West, only with much less interesting lyrics. It’s another of those sampling-as-plagiarism songs, which is particularly disappointing here because the original song was so much more interesting. I would like to note, however, that J. Cole would improve tremendously after this single—his first two albums were two of the best Rap records of the decade, and I consider him one of the most interesting rappers currently around. Even he has admitted, on the moving album track “Let Nas Down”, that this single wasn’t the best he was capable of, describing it as more of a bargaining chip to get his album released, and I suppose there are worse prices to pay for launching a fascinating artist’s career.

Verdict: Not good, but J. Cole is still a fantastic rapper.

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