The 40 Best J. Cole Lyrics Of All Time

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We recently compiled a list of the 25 best J. Cole songs, which features songs from many of his projects and even some lesser-known loosies. Today, we’re back with a list of some of Cole’s best lyrics, which also span the entirety of his professional rapping career.

Check out the list below and let us know if you think we left something out.

1. “Keep grinding, boy, your life can change in one year and even when it’s dark out, the sun is shining somewhere”

‘Premeditated Murder’

2. “If they don’t know your dreams then they can’t shoot ‘em down”

‘Too Deep For The Intro’

3. “Cole under pressure, what that make? Diamonds”

‘Return of Simba’

4. “One thing about the men that’s controlling the pen that write history, they always seem to white-out they sins”


5. “Saw my old teacher and she asked how I’m living, you ain’t know my shit dropped, bitch? 9/11”

‘N*ggaz Know’

6. “A young boy from a show down in Hampton told me that my song was the reason he beat cancer, ain’t know what to say, I just froze, little too deep I suppose, but after a year of review, I figured out it wasn’t me, it was you, n*gga, congratulations”

'Roll Call’

7. “This next shit is in no way to boast but my city love breakfast ‘cause n*ggas had toast early”

‘Return of Simba’

8. “Jigga wouldn’t even take my CD when he seen me, two years later, bitch we made it on, on to The Blueprint”

‘God’s Gift’

9. “Pac had a n*gga saying ‘fuck Jigga’, ‘fuck Biggie’, I was only like eleven so forgive me”


10. “I be staying out the way but if the beef do come around, could put a M right on your head, you Luigi brother now”

‘9 5 . s o u t h’

11. “I got four brothers, one mother that don’t love us, if they ain’t want us, why the fuck they never wore rubbers?”

03’ Adolescence’

12. “Always gon’ be a whip that’s better than the one you got, always gon’ be some clothes that’s fresher than the ones you rock, always gon’ be a bitch that’s badder out there on the tours, but you ain’t never gon’ be happy ‘til you love yours”

‘Love Yourz’

13. “One thing about your demons, they bound to catch up one day, I’d rather see you stand up and face ‘em than run away, I understand this message is not the coolest to say, but if you down to try it, I know of a better way, meditate”


14. “I’m playing daddy to another n*gga daughter, don’t worry, even Jesus never saw his real father”


15. “They say you are what you eat and I still ain’t pussy”

‘Looking For Trouble’

16. “This my New Year’s resolution, dog, no more pork in me, I ain’t no Muslim though, Caron Butler, I’m a wizard if you doesn’t know”

‘The Autograph’

17. “White Range, call that motherfucker Larry Bird”

‘Cost Me A Lot’

18. “I was loved, I was hated, just a n*gga with a dream, I’m a liar, I was honest, I was all of these things, when I’m gone, let ‘em talk, they discussing who I am, when they bury me just know I wasn’t nothing but a man”


19. “Ironic, you been sleeping on the one that you been dreaming ‘bout”

‘Looking For Trouble’

20. “They wonder what’s on my mind, what’s lingering in my dome, I tell ‘em 'ain’t nothing wrong', I deal with it on my own”


21. “Overcame a low life status to blow like Gladys, ahead of my time like I live my whole life backwards”

‘Dead Presidents II’

22. "Tell me how I’m supposed to feel what the President spoke, when he ain’t never had to struggle, ain’t never been broke, ain’t even rode through the ghetto, ain’t never been close, trusting this government like trusting the Devil in oath”

‘I Get Up’

23. “Believe in God like the sun up in the sky, science can tell us how but it can’t tell us why”

‘The Badness’

24. “Trynna avoid state troopers, that’s the weight watchers, run this dope, sack this cake ‘til they say “got ya”, until the fat lady sing and n*ggas hate Operas, and Oprah hate “n*ggas”, make no mistake that we know the stakes, still we hope to make over eight figures, slim chances”

‘Knock Tha Hustle (Remix)’

25. “Only thing worse than death is a regret-filled coffin, so try before you die or always wonder ‘what if?’”

‘Crunch Time’

26. “Five iPhones dropped, my n*gga still in the cell”

‘Revenge of the Dreamers’

27. “Her new boyfriend is so clever, overheard a couple of her friends telling her he better than me and despite all the spite that builds with each passing night, I can’t help but think they right because he never did cheat”

‘May The Bitter Man Win’

28. “Mama, I ain’t done yet, sit back and watch your sun rise, kick back and know your son set”

‘Beautiful Bliss’

29. “I’m the answer on the low, I’m a cheat sheet for rappers, I grew up round AC to DC adaptors, plug talk, what I’m really saying is a shame but my n*ggas move ‘cane like HBCU Kappas”

‘Album of the Year (Freestyle)’

30. “No Bill Cosby shit but if n*ggas is sleeping, then fuck ‘em”

‘L.A. Leakers Freestyle’

31. “Cole World coming, later for them bench warmers, bitch I get covers, you don’t even get covered”

‘Funkmaster Flex Freestyle’

32. “They killed Saddam, now I wonder who’s sane? How you balance being Batman, Bruce Wayne? Old chick calling but I’m onto new things, she still a dime but I always lose change”

‘Head Bussa’

33. “Ducking the Devil, you could say I live my life in limbo”


34. “Am I wrong ‘cause I got some dough and copped a couple finer things? G-Shock to Rolex, my how the times have changed”

‘Like It or Love It’

35. “Imagine a world free from pain and we no longer scared at night, far from the crime, the blind leading the blind, we don’t make the primetime ‘til we dying, the New York Times”

‘New York Times’

36. "I came fast like 911 in white neighborhoods."

"No Role Modelz"

37. "We ain't picture perfect but we worth the picture still."

"Crooked Smile"

38. "Hollywood Cole, I gave you prophecy on my first joint, and y'all lamed out / Didn't really appreciate it, 'til the second one came out."


39. "I'm just a product of poverty, full of narcotics to profit off quickly."

"1985 (Intro to 'The Fall Out')"

40. "Long live the idols, may they never be your rivals / Pac was like Jesus, Nas wrote the Bible."

"Let Nas Down"

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