J. Cole, "Work Out"

75 Billboard Rating

J. Cole's more than fine to ride Kanye West's coattails; after all, West takes giant steps with each album, leaving huge craters for more modest hitmakers to fill. Cole's long-awaited debut single, "Work Out," is so gleefully backdated that it bypasses Auto-Tune completely and brings back the vintage vocoder from West's "The New Workout Plan." That 2004 single provides the sample that loops throughout "Work Out," while Cole sing-raps about "big ole chains" and "big ole thangs" with the same pause-then-growl cadence West used on last year's "Monster." With "Work Out," Cole proves that turning a two-second snippet of West's "Workout Plan" into a four-minute jam can make for a serviceable debut single. "Money can't buy you love cause it's overpriced," the rising rapper notes?leaving out that it sure can buy great samples

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