In 2007, J. Cole was just another fresh-faced recording artist with tons of potential. Having released “The Come Up” to little traction, J. Cole persisted, and by the end of 2009, the MC from North Carolina was signed to Roc Nation. His debut album on the label was one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. Though it took some time for “Cole World: The Sideline Story” to be released, he kept fans satiated with mixtapes “The Warm Up” and “Friday Night Lights,” along with a plethora of featured verses.
The public seemed enamored with Cole’s versatility and charisma in his rhymes so much so that his sophomore album “Born Sinner,” was critically acclaimed, it seemed, before it even hit stores in 2013. For the single “Crooked Smile,” he worked with girl-group legends TLC and we saw a more introspective and grown up side of Cole. On Tuesday, J. Cole and his frequent collaborator Wale are joining forces for the “What Dreams May Come” tour at the 1stBank Center and Reverb has compiled a list of Cole’s best songs to get you geared up and ready to go.
10) “All I Want is You” — Miguel
J. Cole did Miguel a huge favor with his verse on this one, adding a little hip-hop grit to the love song. Cole is magnificent in rhythm as his flow weaves in and out of the R&B production. Miguel returned the love on “Power Trip,” the first single from “Born Sinner.”
9) “Winter Schemes” featuring Wale
Wale and J. Cole are of the same class of young progressive rappers, so it’s no surprise they are touring together. Cole shines on this track spitting lyrics about how winning comes routine to him.
8) “Party” – Beyonce
This song originally featured Andre 3000 but Cole stepped in for the video version with a pleasant verse reminiscent of summer time.
7) “In the Morning” featuring Drake
Keeping with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” trend, J. Cole’s verses are blush-worthy and most definitely intriguing. This song appeared on “Cole World: the Sideline Story,” giving the MC a big boost alongside Drake.
6) “Dollar and a Dream III”
Cole is best when rapping about the perils he experienced both growing up and trying to work into the music industry. He is confident and defiant in his rhymes on this track from “Cole World: The Sideline Story.” It’s one of his best performances from that record.