25 essential J. Cole songs
(Credit: Hip Hop Hero)


25 essential J. Cole songs

J. Cole is one of the most respectable artists in hip-hop today, and he’s a lyricist who has always taken his craft seriously. Cole, akin to Kendrick Lamar, has consistently released quality music over the years during what many have perceived to be a lull in hip-hop culture or even a slight regression. 

With SoundCloud rappers and mumble rappers flooding the airwaves, it is hard to find meaningful yet not overly political and depressing hip-hop music. However, J. Cole is an artist that can provide just that. Coming up through mixtapes and features under Jay-Z’s record label Roc Nation, Cole first garnered attention with his 2009 second mixtape release, The Warm Up. Early in his career, Cole was bagging huge features such as Wale, Talib Kweli and, as a part of the Roc Nation roster, even featured on Jay-Z’s 2009 album The Blueprint Three. 

Becoming a seemingly ubiquitous artist on hip-hop projects, Cole caught the attention of Beyond Race magazine, which featured him as one of their ‘Breakthrough 50 artists’ of 2009. The year following, he appeared on the cover of XXL Magazine as one of their ‘Freshmen’. 

Having partaken in a US college tour alongside fellow upcoming artist at the time, Wiz Khalifa, and after receiving an Urban Music Award for ‘Male Artist of the Year’, he renewed his contract with Roc Nation. With the help of his mentor, Jay-Z, who selected him as a support act for Drake’s ‘Light Dreams and Nightmares’ tour and, as a producer, Cole even helped Kendrick Lamar with his debut album Section.80

Eventually, after developing a cult following and respect among his artistic peers, in 2011, Cole finally dropped Cole World: The Sideline Story, his debut album. The LP peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. Since then, Cole has received a Grammy award, a Billboard Music Award, three Soul Train Music Awards, and 8 BET Hip Hop Awards.

With a hefty music catalogue dating back to 2009, we have sieved through Cole’s discography to provide you with the 25 essential J. Cole songs you need.

Hear our playlist below. 

25 essential best J. Cole songs:

  • ‘Crooked Smile’
  • ‘Power Trip’
  • ‘Forbidden Fruit’
  • ‘Sky Boy’
  • ‘Knock On Wood’
  • ‘In The Morning’
  • ‘Work Out’
  • ‘Nobody’s Perfect’
  • ‘Wet Dreamz’
  • ‘A Tale Of 2 Citiez’
  • ‘Fire Squad’
  • ‘Apparently’
  • ‘Deja Vu’
  • ‘Neighbours’
  • ‘Premeditated Murder’
  • ‘KOD’
  • ‘ATM’
  • ‘Photograph’
  • ‘Love Yourz’
  • ‘Middle Child’
  • ‘A Lot’
  • ‘Pride.is.the.devil’
  • ‘Lights Please’
  • ‘Amari’
  • ‘Tribe’