If you haven't already read my 20-11 list of J. Cole songs then you should probably check that out before going forward. As per with the last set of songs, only records from his studio albums will be included and nothing from compilations either such as the revenge of the dreamers (Which is excellent, you should definitely check it out). So to kick us off at number 10!
10. A Tale of 2 Citiez
I love this song, it has a great subject and I feel that Cole really delves into the song and immerses himself. Once again, the beat is completely laid back and really merges with the song, which on the downside could make it sound really forgettable but on the plus side, a brilliant song to kick off the top 10.
9. No Role Modelz
'Don't save her, she don't wanna be saved' if I could count the amount of times I saw this on twitter whilst the album was still hot off the press. But the album has a great story about how girls who move to Hollywood get taken advantage of and really lose themselves in the lifestyle. No Role Modelz is really a great song, but not the best song off 2014 Forest Hills Drive.
This is an immense starter for a J. Cole album. When I first hit play I wasn't expecting a fast paced, bragadocious song to kick it off, maybe the surprise that makes this song jump so high on the list but in its defence the beat is hard, the lyrics are mostly forgettable except 'sometimes I brag like Hov' name dropping his Roc Nation manager, the legend that is Jay Z.
7. Land of the Snakes
I love this song and it is easy to see why it is my second favourite off Born Sinner, which is truly a great album and just shows the degree of this song. Land of the Snakes is well produced, Cole really exerting his production skills here as he does on the rest of the album. Cole uses the Hollywood idea,but this was the original time it was used. I like that he's using his own experiences without getting ridiculously personal, which he does at times anyway.
A stone cold banger. The beat on this song is so hard, if you listen to this with a subwoofer or a surround sound system then because it will blow your mind. The song is a straight attack oon bandwagoners jumping on Cole even though they haven't been there since The Warm Up days. Another great thing about this song is the switch up halfway through when he claims 'this is the part that the thugs skip' and then he proceeds to turn this brash, explosive song into a love song...
5. She Knows
A story about committing adultery, she knows is a story that puts you on the side of the person cheating in the relationship and he's starting to wonder whether his girl knows what is going on but isn't confronting him about it for whatever reason. I love most things about this song but I think Cole's flow is absolutely on point in this and the chorus is absolutely the catchiest one cole has ever made. A brilliant song to bring in the top 5!
4. '03 Adolescence
I love the story in this song, Cole grows up with a kid who is slinging dope and absolutely balling in the hood. And then in the last verse the boy reveals to Cole that he is the chosen one and he has the key to get out of there, he can still pass school and get into college whilst the boy back home has one of two roads to follow which both lead to the same problem... being stuck in the hood. My main problem with this song is that at times Cole's voice can be lost within the beat but that's just mild because the story this runs through and the emotions in it. Cole really knew the subject he was trying to hit with this one.
3. Wet Dreamz
Honestly, this song is a little corny. But the story telling and flow on this joint is absolutely on point. Wet Dreamz is a song about Cole losing his virginity and the rollercoaster of emotions that came with it, but what inevitably helps this song is the plot twist right at the end which for me instantly gave this song a different edge to it, it really is a stroy as told by Cole. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant, the song has a catchy chorus and contains some of Cole's best flows on the whole album over a laidback beat that emphasise each syllable of his rapping.
2. Lost Ones
I absolutely love the content of this song and from the emotion in his rapping you can honestly tell that Cole feels the subject is close to home. The story goes with verse one being that a man has found out his girl is pregnant and is telling her to have an abortion, however Cole takes on the perspective of the woman in the second verse and how offended she is of this proposition and it just adds a new complex to this song and helps it to become by far and away the best song on a very poor debut album, I'm glad that Cole's career went down the path of this song more than any other on the album. Classic.
Apparently sits at the pinnacle of my list, it is one of the most heartfelt songs made by any rapper in recent times. Cole's singing comes off as brilliant, albeit a little flat in places but the sense of how strongly he feels really pulls him through this and it seriously helps the song go to that upper echelon, another thing about this song is that it is more about fear and genuine rawness than anything else and that is so refreshing to see from a new school MC as they would usually get called corny or whack (which Cole does get called alot) but the emotion in Cole's songs is always massively overlooked and it's disgraceful because he really puts his heart and soul into alot of songs and this is absolutely the case with Apparently because it truly is an incredible song. My personal J. Cole favourite.