J. Cole’s 10 Best Songs - the Masterpieces of a Rap Icon

Jack of all trades but a master of all, Dreamville founder and rap icon J. Cole has embarked on an incredible journey in the realm of rap music. With a knack for sparking controversy, engaging in personal rap debates, and crafting captivating rhymes, Cole has ascended to the pinnacle, solidifying his position as an introspective figurehead beloved by many. Spanning over a decade of mainstream success, as well as his earlier underground years, this North Carolina rapper has gifted us with a plethora of timeless tracks. Even as he hints at retirement following his sixth album 'The Off-Season', released this year, Cole's musical prowess remains unrivalled. Let's reminisce about his remarkable career as we delve into his 10 most remarkable tracks, each a testament to his musical genius.

Unveiling the Tracklist: J. Cole’s Top 10 Songs

1. ‘P r i d e. i s. t h e. d e v i l’ (2021)

In his album 'The Off-Season', Cole collaborates with Lil Baby to delve into his own ego. As discussions abound regarding his status as a top MC, it's undeniable that he holds that title. While rap's landscape has evolved away from his technical lyricism, Cole's impact endures. ‘P r i d e. i s. t h e. d e v i l’ demonstrates his self-reflective prowess, with imaginative delivery adding a unique flair to his introspection.

2. ‘Nobody’s Perfect (2011)

A debut album surprise in 2011 was Cole's collaboration with hip-hop polymath Missy Elliott. Together, they created a contemporary masterpiece that's unfairly overlooked. The track, featuring a guitar riff reminiscent of Missy's signature sound, explores life's imperfections with sultriness and self-forgiveness, showcasing Cole's early brilliance.

3. ‘In the Morning’ (2011)

From his third mixtape 'Friday Night Lights', Cole partners with rising talent Drake. The resulting soulful ode to a special someone highlights their magical synergy. This collaboration serves as evidence that more Drake and J. Cole partnerships are a necessity in the music world.

4. ‘Apparently’ (2014)

Opening with mesmerizing croons, 'Apparently' unveils Cole's multi-faceted artistry. A quintessential J. Cole track, it's self-produced and self-written, offering an uplifting glimpse into his journey from rapper to star. The Grammy-nominated track's powerful lyrics and tongue-twisting verses showcase his growth and evolution.

5. ‘Jermaine’s Interlude’ (2016)

Featured on DJ Khaled's 'Major Key', this track spotlights Cole's reflective side amidst societal turmoil. Addressing the emerging Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality, Cole's introspection shines as he navigates complex societal issues while contemplating his role in a world in upheaval.

6. ‘Work Out’ (2011)

Sampling Paula Abdul's hits 'Straight Up', 'Work Out' propelled Cole to Platinum status. The track's chirpy piano chords and infectious energy embody simplicity and charm, establishing Cole's position in the music industry. This song was the catalyst for his current success and collaborations with industry moguls.

7. ‘Power Trip’ (2013)

Teaming up with Miguel, Cole's 'Power Trip' defied rap norms with its unconventional sound. The fusion of jazz flutist Hubert Laws' notes and Miguel's vocals created a distinctive track, showcasing Cole's willingness to push boundaries and explore new sonic territories.

8. ‘False Prophets’ (2016)

Addressing the reductive nature of modern rap, 'False Prophets' marked a turning point in Cole's career. The controversy surrounding the song's subject matter added to its influence, but it's the technique and artistry embedded in the track that truly sets Cole apart.

9. ‘No Role Modelz’ (2014)

With the opening line "First things first: RIP Uncle Phil," Cole captivated audiences and offered a fresh perspective on role models and influencer culture. This track's wit and social commentary showcased his ability to weave societal insights into his music.

10. ‘Crooked Smile’ (2013)

Featuring TLC's T-Boz and Chilli, 'Crooked Smile' delivered a powerful message on beauty standards. Cole's motivational and appreciative tone resonates as he celebrates imperfections and underscores the beauty within. This sentiment, often absent from rap, makes the track stand out.

Relishing in J. Cole's Timeless Legacy

As we reflect on J. Cole's remarkable journey through music, we find ourselves immersed in a world where his introspection, artistry, and societal insights collide. From soulful collaborations to thought-provoking solo endeavours, Cole's impact remains indelible, continuing to resonate with fans old and new. As he hints at a possible retirement, we can only anticipate what new musical frontiers he might explore.


Q1: What sets J. Cole apart from other rap artists? 

A1: J. Cole's unique blend of introspective lyricism, social commentary, and willingness to push musical boundaries distinguishes him in the rap landscape.

Q2: Which album features 'P r i d e. i s. t h e. d e v i l'? 

A2: The song is featured in J. Cole's album 'The Off-Season', released in 2021.

Q3: What's the significance of 'No Role Modelz'? 

A3: 'No Role Modelz' offers a witty commentary on women role models and influencer culture, showcasing Cole's observant side.

Q4: How has J. Cole evolved throughout his career? 

A4: J. Cole has evolved from a technically skilled lyricist to a multi-dimensional artist, infusing his music with societal insights and unique collaborations.

Q5: What's the message behind 'Crooked Smile'? 

A5: 'Crooked Smile' emphasizes the beauty of imperfections and challenges beauty standards, delivering a powerful message of self-acceptance.


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