Top 10 J Cole Songs of All Time (And 10 Classic Verses) J Cole is one of the most thought-provoking rappers on the market

Jermaine Lamarr Cole (stage name J. Cole) is regarded as one of the last “real” MCs. His brand of conscious rap, mixed with his skillful flow and songwriting abilities, make him a musical force to be reckoned with. Because of this, he draws the ire of mumble rappers. He’s also business savvy and pushed for a rare distribution deal with the majors that keeps him in (somewhat) control of his music. Check out these highlights from the skillful discography of J. Cole.

Best J. Cole Songs

10.  “She Knows (ft Amber Coffman & Cults)”

Album: Born Sinner 2013

Classic Line: 

Damned if I do
Damned if I don’t
You know I got a girl back home
You got a man what you want, what you want
What these bitches want from a nigga
On some DMX shit
I know them other niggas love tricking
On some BMX shit
But not me
Now I’m sure you done heard about me
A black star, Mos Def, Kweli
Good southern bad hoes try me, they try me
This is Martin Luther King in the club
Getting dubs, with a bad bitch
In his ear sayin’ she down for whatever
In the back of his mind is Coretta

9. “Can I Live”

Album: The Warm Up (Deluxe Edition) 2009

Classic Line: 

So she won’t remember where I live – my game is tight
Baby no need to bring pajamas, you ain’t staying the night
No disrespect, I just say it polite
I drop her off before I sleep, I be praying for life
Like Hov said it “Can I Live?”
Aye dear Lord, “Can I live?”
Now am I living to get paid just slaves for a wage, are we
I can’t do no 9-to-5 told my momma “sorry”
I can’t do no suit and tie, no I want the glory
If you knew me know my life is like a movie starring me
Pardon me, if it seems that I’m following my dreams
I ain’t reading off the script that they picked for me
I ain’t pissed, naw couldn’t give a shit hardly
I be shitting on them niggas that was shitting on me
Will I live or will I die before they get to know me
If I go I know the ones that’s pouring liquor for me
And I know the fake niggas really hating on me
Knew that I was ’bout to blow so they was waiting on me

8. “Power Trip (Ft Miguel)

Album: Born Sinner 2013

Classic Line: 

OK, back when I was sleepin’ in my mama crib
Even back then when I was up there in Mohammed crib
Payin’ seventeen-hundred for the rent, money well spent
No heater, but a nigga made heat, may I vent? Had a thing for you
Even wrote the song dreams for you
‘Cause I had dreams for you, thoughts of a ring for you
Childish shit, you know childish shit
Anonymous flowers sent, you know coward shit
Now a nigga signed to Hov, took a power trip
Back home I’m grown now and this city’s my throne now
The same clubs I used to get tossed out
Life got crisscrossed, totally crossed out
‘Cause now I’m in this bitch and I’m totally bossed out
Old chicks cryin’ ’cause they know that they lost out
But I’m still on you, I’m still on you
My drink spilled on me, while I feel on you, I’m saying

7. “Work Out”

Album: Cole World: The Sideline Story 2011

Classic Line: 

She like them boys with the big old chains
Ride around town in the big old Range
I knew her when I rocked big old jeans
Now the little nigga doing big old thangs
Would you look at that? I came back for her
Just to give it to ya, like you asked for it
Man, that thing in them jeans too fat for her
Rebounds so I caught her off the backboard
I told her: “baby girl, come here
Know I run the town even when I ain’t from there”
And I brag hardly but just to show up at this party
I made what your nigga make in one year, that’s unfair, but
So is life, take a chance, roll the dice
Money can’t buy you love ’cause it’s overpriced
Don’t overthink, just hope it’s right
I’m only here for the night

6. “ATM”

Album: KOD 2018

Classic Line: 

Proceed with caution
I heard if you chase it only results in
A hole in your heart
Fuck it, I take the whole cake and I won’t leave a portion
It’s only an organ
Thank God mama couldn’t afford the abortion
The loneliest orphan
I flipped my misfortune and grown me a fortune
My Rollie is scorchin’
Them niggas that hated is slowly endorsin’
Now Cole, he important
My niggas beside me like Tommy and Martin
We ball in your court and
Escape with your bitch like we turning your heart in
She don’t need no garments
She horny from all the money we countin’

5. “No Role Modelz”

Album: Forest Hills Drive 2014

Classic Line: 

First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil
For real, you the only father that I ever knew
I get my bitch pregnant I’ma be a better you
Prophesies that I made way back in the Ville
Fulfilled, listen even back when we was broke my team ill
Martin Luther King would have been on Dreamville
Talk to a nigga
One time for my LA sisters
One time for my LA hoes
Lame niggas can’t tell the difference
One time for a nigga who knows
Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved
No role models and I’m here right now
No role models to speak of
Searchin’ through my memory, my memory
I couldn’t find one
Last night I was gettin’ my feet rubbed
By the baddest bitch, not Trina, but I swear to God
This bitch will make you call your girl up and tell her “Hey, what’s good?
“Sorry I’m never comin’ home I’ma stay for good”
Then hang the phone up, and proceed to lay the wood
I came fast like 9-1-1 in white neighborhoods
Ain’t got no shame bout it
She think I’m spoiled and I’m rich cause I can have any bitch
I got defensive and said “Nah, I was the same without it”
But then I thought back, back to a better me
Before I was a B-list celebrity
Before I started callin’ bitches bitches so heavily
Back when you could get a platinum plaque without no melody
You wasn’t sweatin’ me

4. “Middle Child”

Album: Revenge of the Dreamers III 2019

Classic Line: 

This watch came from Drizzy
He gave me a gift
Back when the rap game was praying I’d diss
They act like two legends cannot coexist
But I’d never beef with a nigga for nothing
If I smoke a rapper
It’s gon’ be legit
It won’t be for clout
It won’t be for fame
It won’t be ’cause my shit ain’t selling the same
It won’t be to sell you my latest lil’ sneakers
It won’t be ’cause some nigga slid in my lane
Everything grows
It’s destined to change
I love you lil’ niggas
I’m glad that you came
I hope that you scrape every dollar you can
I hope you know money won’t erase the pain
To the OG’s
I’m thanking you now
Was watching you when you was paving the ground
I copied your cadence
I mirrored your style
I studied the greats
I’m the greatest right now
Fuck if you feel me
You ain’t got a choice
Now I ain’t do no promo
Still made all that noise
This shit gon’ be different
I set my intentions
I promise to slap all that hate out your voice

3. “Love Yourz”

Album: Forest Hills Drive 2014

Classic Line: 

Heart beatin’ fast, let a nigga know that he alive
Fake niggas mad, snakes in the grass let a nigga know that he arrive
Don’t be sleepin’ on you lover cause its beauty in the struggle nigga
Goes for all y’all
It’s beauty in the struggle nigga
It’s beauty in the struggle nigga, ugliness in the success
Hear my words or listen to my signal of distress
I grew up in the city and though some times we had less
Compared to some of my niggas down the block man we were blessed
And life can’t be no fairytale, no once upon a time
But I be God damned if a nigga don’t be tryin’
So tell me mama please why you be drinking all the time?
Does all the pain he brought you still linger in your mind?
Cause pain still lingers on mine
On the road to riches listen this is what you’ll find
The good news is nigga you came a long way
The bad news is nigga you went the wrong way
You think being broke is better

2. “Lost Ones”

Album: Cole World: The Sideline Story 2011

Classic Line: 

Baby girl, I can’t imagine what it’s like for you
I got you pregnant now inside there is a life in you
I know you wonderin’ if this gon’ make me think ’bout wifing you
Like if you had my first child would I spend my whole life with you
Now I ain’t tryna pick a fight with you, I’m tryna talk
Now I ain’t tryna spend the night with you
I’m kinda lost see
I’ve been giving it some thought lately and frankly
I’m feelin’ like we ain’t ready and it’s hold up now
Let me finish
Think about it baby me and you we still kids ourself
How we gon’ raise a kid by ourself?
Handle biz by ourself
A nigga barely over twenty, where the hell we gon’ live?
Where am I gon’ get that money
I refuse to bring my boy or my girl in this world
When I ain’t got shit to give ’em
And I’m not with them niggas who be knocking girls up and skate out
So girl, you gotta think ’bout how the options weigh out
What’s the way out?

1. “4 Your Eyez Only”

Album: 4 Your Eyez Only 2016

Classic Line: 

You probably grown now so this song’ll hit you
If you’re hearing this, unfortunately means that I’m no longer with you
In the physical, not even sure if I believe in God
But because you still alive
He got me praying that the spiritual is real
So I can be a part of you still, my pops was killed too
So I know how part of you feels
Maybe you hate me
Maybe you miss me, maybe you spite me
Life goes in cycles, maybe you’ll date a nigga just like me
I hope not, I’m tired of dope spots
And fiends that smoke rocks
I’ve seen far too many niggas’ hopes rot
I’m writing this because me and the devil had a dance
Now I see death around the corner, ‘pologizing in advance
Don’t know if I ever had a chance
At a glance, I’m a failure
Addicted to pushing paraphernalia
But Daddy had dreams once, my eyes had a gleam once
Innocence disappeared by the age of eight years
My Pops shot up, drug-related
Mama addicted
So Granny raised me in projects where thugs was hanging
Blood was staining the concrete
Older niggas I loved talked like they was above, maintaining a time sheet
That slow money, picked up the family business

Best J. Cole Guest Verses

10. Janet Jackson “No Sleeep”

Album: Unbreakable 2015

Classic Line: 


9. Wale “Beautiful Bliss”

Album: Attention Deficit 2009

Classic Line: 


8. Anderson Paak “Trippy”

Album: Oxnard 2018

Classic Line: 


7. Wale “My Boy”

Album: Free Lunch 2018

Classic Line: 


6. Young Thug “The London”

Album: So Much Fun 2019

Classic Line: 


5. Royce da 5’9″ “Boblo Boat”

Album: Book of Ryan 2018

Classic Line: 


4. 6Lack “Pretty Little Fears”

Album: East Atlanta Love Letter 2018

Classic Line: 


3. 21 Savage “a lot”

Album: I Am> I Was 2018

Classic Line: 


2. Jay Rock “OSOM”

Album: Redemption 2018

Classic Line: 


1. Lil Wayne “Green Ranger”

Album: Dedication 4 2012

Classic Line: 


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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