J.Cole is thick in his 4 Your Eyez Only tour. Along the way, he has given fans both a rap show and an artistic political statement by wearing a prison jumpsuit.
Whether you’re a J. Cole fan or not, it’s clear he has some stories to tell. Looking back at collaborations he’s done, it’s also plain to see his growth and versatility.
To prep for his St.Paul tour stop, we’ve rounded up a wide range of the North Carolina emcee’s hottest feature verses.
“All I Want Is You”
This first one is a 7-year-old bop by certified crooner Miguel. In it, Miguel pines and regrets losing the only girl he wants. He sings, “Let’s face it, I can’t replace it/That’s why all I want is you now.”
This collaboration came to be around the same time J.Cole signed up for mainstream success by joining the Roc Nation label. In it, J. Cole opens and closes the track with verses on his back-and-forth feelings about wanting to ditch the ladies who continually line up for him for one special person. “Then it’s on to the next one on on to the next one/Hard to move on when you always regret one,” he raps.
If you haven’t heard this 2011 Beyonce hit, it’s worth a listen back. And maybe if you have, the J. Cole feature slipped past you because of how effortlessly it was executed.
The whole song is an upbeat joint about being young, in love, and ready to party. In the video, Queen B naturally rocks electric makeup and several outfit changes as she takes over a trailer park during a pool party that transitions to an evening soiree.
J.Cole makes an abrupt entrance in a Bugatti, but taps into his natural, down-to-earth attitude as he comfortably joins the party and spits a few rhymes in his basic white tee and jean combo.
In 2015, Jeremih made a strong comeback with his third and most recent album, Late Nights. Thoughtful collaborations in his singles probably didn’t hurt, which included features from YG, Future, Big Sean, and, of course, J. Cole.
The wordplay in the platinum single “Planez” was inspired by the name of the original Vinylz beat you hear in the track. In the bridge Jeremih belts, “I can put you in the Mile High Club/What’s up? Let’s take a trip/Have you ever read “The World Is Yours” on a blimp?” Although J. Cole’s verse is a little more raunchy and straight-to-the-point, his aggressive delivery balances out well with Jeremih’s sweet sultriness.
A Jeremih sample is infused in the production of this next collab. “Night Job” is a single off of Dreamville signee Bas’ 2016 sophomore album Too High to Riot.
The bouncy track is one of the strongest of the duo’s collaborations, as they seamlessly trade verses about working well into the night to perfect their craft. Cole reflects on his path so far as he raps, “My only adversary was my own mind/Killed my ego now I’m snappin’ like it’s ’09.”
This last track comes off of Joey Bada$$’s second album. The track producer, Static Selektah, told Genius that the inspiration he takes from jazz, soul and gospel music led to him sampling a rare track by a South African jazz artist in the “LEGENDARY” beat.
Late last year, it was a separate beat that essentially connected two emcees. After J.Cole reworked Joey’s “Waves” beat into “False Prophets,” it was only a matter of time until they truly combined forces. In the over four-minute track, they spit bars on bars about spirituality, humility and political injustices.
Even if Cole doesn’t perform any of these joint tracks, be sure to secure your ticket to his Xcel Energy take over on Saturday.