Many people are still sleeping on Jermaine Cole. The Fayetteville rapper is one of the today’s best, but has yet to garner crossover success. A student of Tupac and later Nas, the Roc Nation artist has been perfecting his rap skills for years.
He took the college route and attended New York’s St. Johns on an academic scholarship in hopes that it would bring him closer to a record deal. If you’re a fan of his lyricism and ability to story-tell, you know “Mr. “Dollar and a Dream” got his happy ending with a Roc Nation partnership and two successful albums.
J. Cole turns 29 today and in honor of his big day, we’re highlighting some of the tracks that turned us into fans.
Flip the page and listen.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
“Grown Simba” The Warm Up
Best line: “I’m a star, Converses conversin’ with them girls with them curves like cursive.
They open like curtains, cause my shit is unheard of like curses on the radio.”
“Lights Please” The Warm Up
Best line: “The more I grow the more yall seem to stay the same, don’t even know the rules but yet y’all tryna change the game”
Best line: “See I knew that this is how you act, so typical. Said you love me, oh, but now you flipping like reciprocals”
“Dollar and a Dream” (all)
Best line: “But I’m past that, a ni**a’s stock is rising like the Nasdaq, They say I’m the future but yet I’m giving ni**as flashbacks, Of better days when you ain’t have to settle for whatever played, I represent the struggle ni**a, I say what they never say” (“Dollar and a Dream II”)
“Mo’ Money (Interlude)”
Best line: “Still broke compared to ni**as with old money. I mean the type of ni**as that laugh at Hov money. Billionaires with Petroleum and coal money. Probably kill themselves if the had Cole money”
“I Get Up”
Best line: “Paint a picture and show the deaf what it’s like to listen. And speak the words and tell a blind man what he missing”
Best line: “The mind state of a winner, when you thinkin’ ’bout summertime, I’m thinkin’ ’bout the winter. When you thinking bout breakfast, I’m heating up my dinner. I was plotting this moment back when y’all was riding spinners”
“Blow Up” – Friday Night Lights
Best line: “Funny how money change and whips make me feel free”
Best line: “J. Cole homie, can you sign my burnt CD, ni**a please, an album ten dollarsyou act like its ten G’s. this food for thought cost the same as 2 numbers threes”
“Too Deep for the Intro”
Best line: “Partially functional, half of me is comfortable. The other half is close to the cliff like Mrs Huxtable”
“Back to the Topic (Freestyle)”
Best line: “I’m ill enough to kill cancer, baby I’m Chemo. Down in Miami, and I throw ’em like Marino.”
Best line: “I step over piranhas, death over dishonor/They killin’ niggas for Js, that’s death over designer”
“Can I Live” – Warm Up
Best line: “My momma told me to speak like you got a college degree. You see I can, but I won’t. Cause I’m saying what I want.Plus this slang that I speak don’t change that I’m deep as the throat on a certified freak”
Best line: “No looking back, don’t even want to see my prom pictures”