A few weeks ago Gang Starr announced its first single in decades “Family and Loyalty” ft. J. Cole. In a tweet once the track was released J. Cole announced this was his last feature for what has been a legendary run of guest verses.
This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr 🤯🤯🤯🤯 💎💎💎💎
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 20, 2019
Although I’m sure J. Cole isn’t done with features he’ll probably be putting it to rest for a while. Hopefully, it’s a break to focus on his own set of projects he’s mentioned in the past.
(Kill Edward, The Offseason, The Fall Off)
For hardcore Cole fans we know he’s been killing features since he hit mainstream even though this latest run has caught the industry by storm. We’ve ranked Cole’s top 10 feature verses over his career.
10. Jermaine’s Interlude
By DJ Khaled feat. J Cole and EarthGang
Jermaine’s Interlude is featured on DJ Khaled’s ninth studio album titled ‘Major Key’. The conscious track features lyrics based on Cole’s feelings toward the music industry’s current state. “Momma sorry, I just stopped tryin’ it, Paid for your house in hopes, there’d be no more reason for cryin’, That shows you how stupid I am ’cause niggas is out here dying, From police that flash the siren and pull up and just start firing”. The verse shows Cole’s true inner thoughts and how social issues, in general, are affecting him. This is Cole at his most vulnerable.
9. A Lot
By 21 Savage feat. J Cole
‘A Lot’ is the opener to 21’s 15-track album ‘i am﹥i was’. J Cole’s verse is a testament to the truth he speaks, generally enlightening his audience with his views on the industry as it currently stands without holding back. Lyrics such as: “Pray for Tekashi, they want him to rot, I picture him inside a cell on a cot, reflecting on how he made it to the top, wondering if it was worth it or not” shows how he always seeks to understand before passing judgment.
By Bas feat. J Cole
The meditative track for Bas’ ‘Milky Way’ album features one of Cole’s best feature verses. It happens to be the 9th collab between the two, and evidently, they only get better. Bars such as: “They spinning my records so heavy, I’m topping the Forbes, stuck in a rock and a hard place though, Is it true what they say? The higher you go, the longer the fall?” show his concern in his ongoing success, what happens when he makes his decline? Cole’s overall verse has crazy wordplay in addition to the introspective aspect of his lyrics.
7. Boblo Boat
By Royce da 5’9″ feat. J Cole
Boblo Boat is a track where Royce and Cole reminisce on their childhood. The track’s title revolves around two steamships that sailed the Detroit River, which Royce and his family would take on vacation. Cole’s verse talks about growing up in North Carolina, from his first smoke as a kid to bumping tracks in his mother’s Civic. Overall the storytelling nature of Cole’s verse highlights one of his best talents musically.
6. Shea Butter Baby
By Ari Lennox feat. J Cole
Shea Butter Baby is the name of Ari’s debut studio album, as well as the lead single. J Cole blesses the track with a verse defining how he pleases a woman’s desires. The way he compliments Ari’s old-school, soul-filled voice is what makes this track stand out from the rest. Lines like: “Coconut oil, the scent of your body still lingers on sheets” show the portrait Cole is trying to portray.
5. No Sleeep
By Janet Jackson feat. J Cole
No sleeep is the 9th track on Janet Jackson’s album ‘Unbreakable’. The track peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The track’s atmospheric sound is accompanied by J Cole’s smoothly executed verse, detailing a pair who can’t wait to be together again, even if it’s just for the night.
4. Pretty Little Fears
By 6lack feat. J Cole
Pretty Little Fears is the first collaboration between 6lack and J Cole. Cole’s verse encompasses his relationship with his wife, and how having her is a true blessing: “I could take the weight up off your shoulder blades, and try to store the pain inside of me, like why the world do you like that? Like they don’t know you God-sent, but me, I view you like that”.
3. Beautiful Bliss
By Wale feat. J Cole
Beautiful Bliss is a typical rap song in a lyrical aspect. Although the element of a J Cole verse totally shifts the ‘what’s typical’ meta, into a ‘what’s fire’ spectrum. J Cole’s flow in conjunction to his lyricism form a verse that’s infamous among die-hard fans. Cole recalls conversations with Nas himself, along with inspiration from the late 2 Pac.
2. Knock tha’ Hustle
By Cozz feat J Cole
Knock tha’ Hustle is an extremely powerful track, with rhythmic poetry skillfully delivered on jazz instrumental. The track details how it feels being out of touch with reality after achieving success. J Cole features 2 gem-filled verses, particularly reaching out to his incarcerated brother: “Look, I never admit it, tryna get my brother acquitted, Yo’ tell the judge I be happy to pay him off if he’s with it, My flesh and blood, hauled off to the cell, I search for heaven as I see him getting lost in this hell”.
Night Job – Bas ft. J. Cole
My Nigga Just Made Bail – Bas ft. J. Cole
Jodeci Freestyle – Drake ft. J. Cole
Say Na – Moneybagg Yo ft. J. Cole
OSOM – Jay Rock ft. J. Cole
American Dream – Jeezy ft. J. Cole & Kendrick Lamar
Come Through & Chill – Miguel ft. J. Cole
All I Want Is You – Miguel ft. J. Cole
Planez – Jeremih ft. J. Cole
Children of Men – Trae Tha Truth ft. J. Cole
1. Off Deez
By J.I.D feat. J Cole
Off Deez is the second single off of J.I.D’s DiCaprio 2, with a music video filmed by Cole Bennet. The production by infamous producer ChaseTheMoney, creates the perfect set for a lyrical frenzy for both artists. J Cole’s verse is geared towards violently quieting his critics, who at times only seem to want to bother him. The replay ability of their individual verses is what sets this track apart into it’s own playing field.