The parallels between hip-hop and basketball have been pointed out an endless number of times by any number of sources, including North Carolina rapper J. Cole. His initial forays into the mainstream came complete with basketball imagery evoking his time as a bench player in high school, but over time, he seemingly moved away from that presentation for a more serious, community-minded approach.
It appears that he never lost the love for the game, as his latest musical endeavor comes accompanied by the same athletic theme he started out with. His new video, “Album Of The Year,” comes on the heels of a Twitter request/promise to “Feed me beats. Everything gettin murdered.” It looks like he’s getting in his offseason reps while cooking up his follow up to KOD, as he remains as lyrically sharp as he’s ever been. Rhyming razor edged battle bars over the 2000 Nas hit, “Oochie Wally,” Cole goes all the way back to the fundamentals — no high concept, no catchy hook, no elaborate artistic vision, just pure bars, delivered as only Cole can. It’s also a nifty callback to his infamous exchange with idol Nas, who once expressed disappointment in the young rapper’s “Work Out,” as he believed it didn’t live up to the potential Cole displayed on his mixtapes.