J. Cole's second album, Born Sinner, drops tomorrow but the Roc Nation MC is already soaking up accolades. Most of the rave reviews (the album leaked a few weeks back) have focused on the vastly improved production—soaring strings, a live church choir, hard-knocking drums throughout. But the beats still can't outshine the reason Cole first stood out: His rhymes.
From Born Sinner all the way back to his first mixtape, The Come-Up, Cole has proved himself to be an elite MC—as capable of chest-thumping battle raps or gut-wrenching stories of struggle. Here, we take a look back at his already impressively deep catalog (two albums, two EPs, three mixtapes, and several standalone tracks and guest verses), to select his best verses. With his consistently top-notch skills, it wasn't an easy task. Still, these are The 25 Best J. Cole Verses.
Written by Alex Gale (@apexdujeous)