"Can't Get Enough"feat. Trey Songz (2011) Cole World: The Sideline Story
Cole showed he’s more than capable of giving us club bangers when he dropped, “Can’t Get Enough” as his second single. He sampled "Paulette" as performed by Balla et ses Balladins and had Trey Songz on the hook of the track for which the visuals were filmed out in Barbados. To stick with the Bajan vibe of the video, Cole also had Barbados native, and fellow label mate Rihanna make a feature.
One of the recent singles from his Born Sinner album, J. Cole settles into his storytelling self here speaking about the lure of a woman he meets in club on his jet-setting life whilst having a committed girlfriend at home.
Cole delivers some damn fine production on this track which samples The Cults, “Bad Things”.
"In The Morning" feat. Drake (2010) Cole World: The Sideline Story
This track was made in Cole’s bedroom way back before his days of hitting success. Drake is said to have approached J Cole after hearing the track and wanted 16 bars on it which worked out perfectly for the Roc Nation star who was already thinking of revamping it.
Cole no doubt gave men an easy way to ask their ladies if they could get down and dirty in the morning.
"Lost Ones" (2011) Cole World: The Sideline Story
This track is probably some of J. Cole’s finest work to date.
“Lost Ones” looked at the tale of a young man and his girlfriend dealing with a pregnancy. Cole covered all angles of this difficult situation exceptionally well, giving the perspective of the female as well as the male.
Cole filmed visuals for this a while back which surfaced in 2009 with what is a simplistic but effective video which is very much true to the track.
"Forbidden Fruit" gave us a glimpse of what we could expect from the collaborative album we have been promised for some time with Cole and Kendrick Lamar. The two rappers created a dope track and KDot doesn’t even rap on the cut as he fits in perfectly on the hook.
Definitely a sign of the great things we can expect from this future project, if it ever happens!
Cole brought us this powerful record which was his first official single from his sophomore album Born Sinner. Here, the Roc Nation rapper gave us his thoughts about the state of the country, on a track which he claimed would never be played on the radio.
This self-produced track opened J Cole’sBorn Sinner record, and packed in a whole load of concepts to set the scene for what we could expect from the album. The rapper played with controversy whilst poking fun rapping, “I'm bout to go and join the Illuminati, fuck everybody”.
"Chris Tucker" (2013) Truly Yours 2
With an ill beat, this track has one hell of a catchy hook, as Cole makes reference to the film, Money Talks starring Chris Tucker to show how he’s now stunting with his dollars.
"Back to the Topic (Freestyle)" (2010) Friday Night Lights
A favourite of Cole’s hardcore fans, he gives bars on this instrumental of Cassie’s track "Must Be Love", discussing weed, the struggles of an aspiring rapper and of course women.
Cole admitted that once he rose to fame, he was tempted to get his teeth fixed like most celebrities. However, he decided against this due to the example he would be setting to his fans which is where the idea behind this track came along. With its strong message reminiscent of songs like “Unpretty”, Cole felt it would be fitting to have TLC feature on the joint who were more than happy to oblige.
The visuals to this would also become a big talking point, which brought attention to the death of 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley who was a victim of a police shooting.
"Premeditated Murder" (2010) Friday Night Lights
Cole gets real deep reflecting on getting a record deal and the life changing effects it has. Coming from Fayetteville, North Carolina, the rapper tells us on the hook that his experiences don’t usually happen to people where he’s from.
Cole explores the catch 22 of fame and money in quite some depth on his Born Sinner album, and this is a perfect example.
Though we all know that J Cole is no longer exactly in financial struggle, he also addresses the irony of knowing whilst he has money, there are those who would feel poor with his wealth, “Billionaires with petroleum and coal money/Probably kill themselves if they had Cole money”.
"Lights Please" (2009) The Warm Up
One of his earliest joints, if you are wondering what exactly caught Hov’s attention with Cole it was this track right here that led to him signing a deal with Roc Nation.
J Cole addressed being with a woman who is ignorant of life’s important issues, and more concerned with getting her satisfaction in the bedroom.
"Villematic" (2010) Friday Night Lights
Cole gets some stress off his chest here as he raps over Yeezy’s “Devil In A New Dress”, lamenting over his journey as a rapper, looking back at his college days and his new found attention.
"God's Gift" (2011) Cole World: The Sideline Story
J Cole has made many inspirational tracks throughout his discography and this has to be one them. “God’s Gift” from his debut album sees Cole anticipating his rise to the top. After many years grinding, the rapper uses the track to tell the world that he’s more than ready.
"Sideline Story" (2011) Cole World: The Sideline Story
“I wish somebody made guidelines on how to get up off the sidelines “
While wishing that somebody gave him the recipe of rising to success, Cole lays his messages out on this track, exploring the struggle and change experienced when trying to make it. In turn, he portrays his own guidelines for making it out of a small town into the world of hip hop.
"Mr Nice Watch" feat. Jay Z (2011) Cole World: The Sideline Story
Cole first collaborated with Jay Z on Hov’s own Blueprint 3 album on the track “A Star Is Born”. On hearing “Mr Nice Watch”, Jigga was inspired to jump on the track which was likely to have been one of the last additions to Cole’s debut record Cole World: The Sideline Story.
No doubt Hov must have been attracted to the joint track for its futuristic sound, which has an unusual dubstep beat.
Revealing his childhood dislike for rich folks who had more than him, Cole addresses the irony of needing more in life, but then having to sell your soul to get to a better place.
J. Cole here gives us the perfect song to spin when we are feeling broke as hell.
"Dollar & A Dream" (2007) The Come Up
Certainly a throwback track for the artist, a young Jermaine Cole created this track to channel the idea of turning a little into a lot on his first official mixtape The Come Up. He would then later create two more versions of the song in subsequent projects.
"Split You Up" (2007) The Come Up
One of the tracks which Cole recorded in his dorm room whilst being a student at St John’s University in New York City. The rapper kept it real telling a “committed” young lady that he was only interested in sex rather than making her his girlfriend.
"Work Out" (2011) Cole World: The Sideline Story
The song that Cole debuted with for his first album, and also the track that Nas voiced his disappoint over. Although still an important track, the rapper’s music has moved far beyond this joint with his lyrical depth, phenomenal beats and production.
"Too Deep For The Intro" (2010) Friday Night Lights
An intro that is no ordinary intro. Cole lets off steam from the get go, which makes you wake up and take notice. He takes no prisoners discussing domestic violence, eating second rate school meals compared to his white counterparts, and losing his virginity to a “slutty bitch”. Always one to use the dopest samples, here, Cole borrows Erykah Badu’s, “Didn’t Cha Know”
"Can I Live" (2009) The Warm Up
J Cole always gives us the real deal in the most refreshing way. Borrowing inspiration from Jay-Z, the rapper provides his version of, “Can I Live” exploring some of the testing issues he’s faced in his life.
The second of verse of the track is especially powerful, as Cole raps about the dying last minutes of a young black man in the arms of his friend after being shot.
"Welcome" (2009) The Warm Up
Proving his lyrical ability on his second mixtape, The Warm Up, which was released under the Roc Nation label, Cole eases us in with a two verse track, no hooks, just straight bars addressing his personal struggles.
"Who Dat" (2010) Cole World: The Sideline Story
“Who Dat” was Cole’s first ever single release, but was actually kept as a bonus track for his debut album. Taking it back to his roots, the visuals were filmed in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina as Cole strolls along with cheerleaders and the band from his local university and high school.
On his 29th birthday, we bring you 25 of J. Cole's dopest tracks.
J. Cole has so far clocked up a very commendable discography of 3 mixtapes, 2 EPs and 2 studio albums. For the North Carolina rapper, the grind has been very real, starting off as a young age creating tracks in his bedroom and hungry for a deal. His hard work would eventually pay off, capturing the attention of Jay Z and signing one hell of deal with Roc Nation.
Despite this, Cole has not stopped putting in the work proving he is one of today's finest lyricists in the game. His ability to make songs about real-life situations with blunt honesty has given him mass appeal as he proves he was just a kid from a small town with a dream like many.
J. Cole no doubt has a promising career ahead with his storytelling abilities, and the backing of one of the biggest rappers alive as we celebrate how far he has come at the age of just 29.