Album: Born Sinner
Label: Roc Nation, Columbia
While J. Cole fed his core supporters with the Truly Yours mixtape series, it was clear he needed a record with a broader appeal for the lead up to his second album, Born Sinner. He found it in "Power Trip."
A riveting sequel to The Warm Up's "Dreams," the song takes a blithesome flute loop from Hubert Laws' 1972 fusion nugget "No More" and converts it into a burning decree for his unbridled emotions. Cole, all fire-and-desire, hell bent on pursuing forbidden fruit, tells a captivating story of falling in too deep.
Sweetening the deal, Miguel (fresh off a Grammy win for "Adorn"), reignites the chemistry he and Cole found on 2010's "All I Want Is You." It's powerful stuff. —Edwin Ortiz