Right there, in the scalding second verse of “Live Forever,” his latest single, James Cole tells us that he raps like his life depends on it. He’s not exaggerating. The young vocalist delivers every word he writes with the absolute conviction of a true believer in the power of music to make an indelible impression on listeners. That urgency – that compulsion to connect – is what “Live Forever” is all about. It’s a statement of intent from an artist coming into his own, determined to release music that leaves a legacy.
Now, mind you, Cole isn’t always this serious. Some of his past work – the playful, hedonistic “Type Of Guy,” for instance – is the exact sort of pure party music you’d expect to get from a talented rapper and singer who has yet to leave his teen years behind. But even those songs are, upon closer inspection, sturdily constructed, wittily written, and passionately performed. // Continue to the full article