Best Line: "I grew up with nothing, it hurt me to see my mother poor/The only pops a nigga ever seen around was Huxtable."
Album: The Come-Up
From the start, even before Jay crowned him on "A Star Is Born," Cole's musical mythology has always been about the passing of a torch, a prince hoping to ascend his own throne. On the very first song on his first mixtape, the widely overlooked The Come-Up, he sets off his Lion King-inspired "Simba" series by showing himself to be an underdog talent with bigger visions straight off the bat. "Man, I'm hungry, does it show?" he asks. But he's already answered his own question, with lines like, "I'm somethin' like the light-skin version of the very same baby that the Virgin Mary raised/That's word to everything."