The 25 Best J. Cole Verses

5. "Breakdown" (1st Verse)

Best Line: "I ain't know no better/Thought I was brighter than a Polo sweater/No pops was like Martin with no Coretta."
Album: Cole World: The Sideline Story

"Breakdown" is at its core a song about that: Breaking down, to the point of tears. It's a refreshing break from the old "There's no crying in hip-hop" rule, particularly on the first verse, where he address his absentee father head-on. Yes, it's been done by other rappers before, but Cole's take is still especially touching, starting with him admitting he just "shed tears" and ending with him telling his pops, "Maybe I should be telling you 'Fuck you' 'cause you selfish, but I want a father so bad." Damn. That's the realest shit he ever wrote.

Tags: j-cole
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