J. Cole has become one of the biggest rappers in the music industry, having delivered a consistently superior body of work. With his recent feature on Joyner Lucas’ newest single, ‘Your Heart,’ we thought we’d just remind you of a few of his greatest hits, as of this day in the year 2022!
The American rapper started his career back in 2007 with the release of his first ever mixtape, ‘The Come Up,’ which had prominent music producers work on his tracks, like Salaam Remi, Large Professor, and many more. He later signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in 2009, and in 2011, he released his first-ever studio album, ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story,’ which featured Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, and Drake, who was also a growing rapper at the time. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.
It’s only been uphill since – selling out arenas and platinum records with more than a decade of being a mainstream rapper, even owning his own record label, ‘Dreamville Records.’ Below is a list of songs by J. Cole that you should immediately add to your playlist if you haven’t already.
Nobody’s Perfect ft. Missy Elliot (Cole World: The Sideline Story)
Let’s begin this list strong with ‘Nobody’s Perfect,’ which featured very well-known and renowned American rapper/songwriter and record producer, Missy Elliot, and surprised hip-hop fans, as J. Cole was yet another new face in the music industry.
Produced by J. Cole himself, the guitar riff pulls you in from the very beginning, with the lyrics describing young J. Cole’s mistakes and mishaps in live performances, while also forgiving himself for being reckless. We also think Missy Elliot was the perfect fit for this song; her vocals carry the chorus, and leave you wanting for more!
A few songs more from “Cole World: The Sideline Story” album:
In The Morning ft. Drake (Cole World: The Sideline Story)
Drake was already a very well-known artist who had made his way into mainstream music, having done features with Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Brown. He was already a part of YMCMB (Young Money Entertainment), a record label started by Lil Wayne.
On the other side, we had J. Cole, who had just begun his rap career. Together, they wrote ‘In The Morning,’ which originally featured in J. Cole’s third mixtape, ‘Friday Night Live (2010), but was added to his debut studio album, ‘Cole World: The Sideline Story’ (2011), as well. This track only made hip-hop fans want more collaborations from this iconic duo.
Apparently (2014 Forest Hills Drive)
If you’re in search of the “J. Cole feeling,” then just give ‘Apparently’ a try; you will be hooked from the beginning, with a beautiful piano opening that carries out throughout the song, and the chorus – “I keep my head high, I got my wings to carry me” – that makes you sing-along.
‘Apparently’ is a self-produced and self-written Grammy-nominated track that is extremely uplifting, and became one of J. Cole’s turning moments, making him into the star we know today.
A few more songs from ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ album:
No Role Modelz (2014 Forest Hills Drive)
J. Cole became one of the greatest lyricists after this song went viral; every fan will want to sing along to ‘No Role Modelz,’ which is his most-played track on Spotify, having almost crossed 1.5 billion plays.
‘No Role Modelz’ is one of his most balanced songs, consisting of powerful lyrics talking about young boys and girls not having anyone to look up to, along with highly catchy beats and a very punchy bass.
1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”)
So everyone remembers the “Gucci Gang” period, when an up-and-coming rapper decided to diss a legend, right? It took J. Cole only two weeks to make an entire album titled ‘KOD’ (an abbreviation for Kids on Drugs, Kids Overdosed, and Kill Our Demons), which broke the internet for weeks on end.
‘1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”)’ was one of the best diss tracks we’ve heard, and if compared to Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem’s beef, this song takes rank. He doesn’t really hurl insults or offend anyone, but in typical J. Cole fashion, he drops a few insights and offers tips for upcoming rappers to follow.
We hope you enjoyed this list of J. Cole songs we picked; and if you’re as big of a music geek as us, don’t forget to keep tuning in for daily content about events, entertainment, and a whole lot more!