You?ve got a favorite J. Cole album, right? With so many opinions it?s hard to see who?s got it right. So, at SnobHop we decided to put our heads together and come up with what we believe is the most accurate ranking of Cole?s discography. Anyway, enough talking let?s dive in!
8. The Come Up
With the first mixtape released under the moniker J. Cole (formerly Therapist) ? The Come Up showed Cole?s promise as a young emcee entering into the rap game. The beats are raw, and the audio quality isn?t the greatest either but the passion is there and J. Cole sounds hungry for more. Although The Come Up occupies the last spot on this list, it?s honestly better than some rappers entire catalogues.
Favorite Bars: Nigga life a scary game but I?m playin/You sucka niggas lie in everything that ya sayin/Shame on ya?ll, you tryna ball with the game on pause/A nigga pull the thing on ya?ll, ya?ll stain ya?ll draws
Standout Tracks: Simba, I?m the Man, Dead Presidents
7. Cole World: The Sideline Story
Sideline Story wasn?t that bad although hardened fans will say otherwise. It had solid radio singles, and the concepts/lyrical content were equally as solid. While flawed in some respects, let?s chalk it up to the fact that Cole was still growing into his identity as an artist and this album is reflective of the uncertainty he faced as the first artist on Roc Nation. Even with that burden placed upon him Sideline Story gave birth to classics like ?Nobody?s Perfect?
Favorite Bars: Up in 1st class, laugh even though it?s not funny/See a white/man wonder how the fuck I got money/While he sit at coach, hate to see me walk past ?im /Young black pants sag, headphones blastin?Know what he askin?, ?how did he manage??/?With all the cards against him, he used them to his advantage!?/Slang we be speakin? probably soundin? like Spanish/Then I fuck they heads up when a nigga show manners
Standout Tracks: Can?t Get Enough, Sideline Story, Nobody?s Perfect
6. 4 Your Eyez Only
While some artists have a sophomore slump, it?s not odd for it to happen later in their careers and this seems to be the case with J. Cole?s 4 Your Eyez Only. 4 Eyez does have its shining moments but it feels a bit scattered. Regardless, when it shines it shines bright and Cole?s commitment to the people is felt strongly on this effort. Did I mention that he went platinum with features on this album too? Exactly.
Favorite Bars: That?s why I moved away, I needed privacy/Surrounded by the trees and Ivy League/Students that?s recruited highly/Thinkin? ?You do you and I do me?/Crib has got a big ?ol back ?ol yard/My niggas stand outside and pass cigars/Filled with marijuana, laughin? hard/Thankful that they friend?s a platinum star/In the driveway there?s no rapper cars/Just some shit to get from back and forth
Tracks: Neighbors, For Whom The Bell Tolls
5. The Warm Up
The Warm Up was the first introduction many fans had to J. Cole and it was a strong one. Being the first artist on Jay Z?s newly founded label Roc Nation came with its own sets of pressures but in an era where music was and is becoming increasingly disposable The Warm Up stands the test of time and proves to be a proper introduction for any fan looking to see what the hype is about. Though Cole handles the bulk of the production duties (as he usually does) their are a few solid features on the project and
Favorite Bars: Puffing on the city where the Lakers from: L-A, L-A, la la/So high, everything is a ?ha ha? for me/Dreaming of the days of a drop 500/And a bad bitch that?ll go to Popeyes for me/You can never tell me that I?m not hungry/If you ever felt what?s inside my tummy/My mind wondering now, is my time running out?/Is the Lord up top with a stop watch for me?/Hope not, hope not, hope not, hope not
Standout Tracks: Dreams, World Is Empty
4. Born Sinner
Having fully taken in the missteps leading up to the first album, Sideline Story, Cole sounds refreshed and ready to take on the world on Born Sinner. The album?s first single ?Power Trip? with Miguel showed that Cole mastered the art of the radio hit without alienating his core audience. And album cuts like Forbidden Fruit with Kendrick Lamar gave something for even the most elitist hiphop fans to bop to. Born Sinner showed proved that the sophomore slump most artist suffer is myth at best and as a result BS solidified Cole?s status as one of the leaders of the new school . Not to mention that to date Born Sinner has given us one of J. Cole?s best intro tracks ever with ?Villuminati.?
Favorite Bars: Take a seat baby girl you?ve been all in my mind/I know I ain?t called gotta pardon my grind/Just copped a maroon 5, no Adam LevineCame a man by myself, only father was time/I know that she relate baby daddy ain?t shit/So she raised that nigga kids but she swallowing mine
Standout Tracks: Villuminati, Forbidden Fruit, Chaining Day, She Knows
By far this has to be Cole?s most personal effort, and it?s one of his best studio albums to date. K.O.D. delivers a potent message about drug use and materialism and reveals another dynamic to Cole?s personality while taking the fans on a wonky audible journey. This project reeks of experimentation and shows that Cole is growing. He?s already solidified his position in the rap game, K.O.D. further explains why he deserves this position.
Favorite bars: N***as hating on me, I ain?t used to that/ Know a couple people wanna shoot for that/ I say ?No, no, no, chill, it ain?t no need for that?/Them niggas tryna blow and ain?t need me for that/ And if it work for them, well shit, I?m cool with that/ ?Cause how they feel, I ain?t got shit to do with that/I just sit back on cool and watch my paper stack/And trip off how much bread them crackers take from that
Standout Tracks: Photographs, Brackets, Kevin?s Heart
2. Friday Night Lights
With the exception of #1 this is by far J. Cole?s best project to date and what should?ve been the first album. But God doesn?t make mistakes, and apparently neither does Cole on Friday Night Lights. This amazing body of work features Cole doing what he does best; addressing the anxieties of millennial life & relationships over lush soulful production. Coming out toward the end of the mixtape era, this tape is a bonafide hiphop classic.
Favorite Bars: Partially functional, half of me is comfortable/ The Other half is close to the cliff like Mrs. Huxtable
Standout Tracks: Too Deep for the Intro, In The Morning, Enchanted
1. 2014 Forest Hills Drive
Years of hard work and refinement culminated in the soon to be certified classic rap album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. Every style of production and flow that Cole?s used to date is present on this project, and it sounds like the album where he?s most comfortable. There?s rarely a dull moment on FHD and for the uninitiated J. Cole fan THIS is the project you need to hear. It will sell you on everything.
Favorite Bars: First things first rest in peace Uncle Phil/ For real/ You the only father that I ever knew/ I Get my b***** pregnant Ima be a better/ Prophecies that I made way back in the ville, fufilled/ Listen, even back when we was broke my team ill/ Martin Luther King would?ve been on Dreamville
Standout Tracks: G.O.M.D., Apparently, ?03 Adolescence
That?s our list y?all. You disagree? Hit us up.
Cole World, no blanket son?
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