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The Best J. Cole Albums, Ranked

Updated May 24, 2021 2.7k votes 679 voters 5.1k views10 items

List RulesNo EPs, live albums, or compilation albums.

Hip hop fans, we're ranking the best J. Cole albums of all time. One of the best rappers of 2018, J. Cole's discography has been met with positive reception ever since his 2007 mixtape The Come Up. Since then, all five of his studio albums, including his new album, have hit number one on Billboard charts. What is the greatest J. Cole album ever?

From his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story to his 2018 album KOD, this list of J. Cole albums includes 2014 Forest Hills Drive, Born Sinner, and his old mixtapes.

Vote up the best J. Cole albums, and vote down the ones that were disappointing.

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  • Photo: Columbia

    1. Villuminati
    2. Kerney Sermon (Skit)
    3. Land of the Snakes
    4. Power Trip
    5. Mo Money (Interlude)
    6. Trouble 
    7. Runaway
    8. She Knows (feat. Amber Coffman and Cults)
    9. Rich N***az
    10. Where's Jermaine? (Skit) 
    11. Forbidden Fruit (feat. Kendrick Lamar)    
    12. Chaining Day
    13. Ain't That Some Sh*t (Interlude)
    14. Crooked Smile
    15. Let Nas Down
    16. Born Sinner (feat. James Fauntleroy)

    Metacritic score: 71/100

    • Release Date: 2013
  • Photo: Roc Nation

    1. Friday Night Lights (Intro)
    2. Too Deep for the Intro 
    3. Before I'm Gone 
    4. Back to the Topic (Freestyle)
    5. You Got It (feat. Wale) 
    6. Villematic 
    7. Enchanted (feat. Omen)    
    8. Blow Up 
    9. Higher 
    10. In the Morning (feat. Drake)
    11. 2Face 
    12. The Autograph
    13. Best Friend 
    14. Cost Me a Lot 
    15. Premeditated Murder 
    16. Home for the Holidays 
    17. Love Me Not 
    18. See World
    19. Farewell 
    20. Looking For Trouble (Bonus Track) (Kanye West feat. Pusha T, J. Cole, CyHi Da Prynce & Big Sean)
     

    • Release Date: 2010
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use

    1. Intro
    2. Dollar and a Dream III
    3. Can't Get Enough (feat. Trey Songz)
    4. Lights Please
    5. Interlude
    6. Sideline Story
    7. Mr. Nice Watch (feat. Jay-Z)
    8. Cole World
    9. In the Morning (feat. Drake)
    10. Lost Ones
    11. Nobody's Perfect (feat. Missy Elliott)
    12. Never Told
    13. Rise and Shine
    14. God's Gift
    15. Breakdown
    16. Work Out (bonus track)

    Metacritic score: 75/100

    • Release Date: 2011
  • Photo: Roc Nation

    1. Intro (The Warm Up) 
    2. Welcome 
    3. Can I Live 
    4. Grown Simba 
    5. Just To Get By 
    6. Lights Please 
    7. Dead Presidents II 
    8. I Get Up 
    9. World Is Empty 
    10. Dreams (feat. Brandon Hines) 
    11. Royal Flush 
    12. Dollar and a Dream II 
    13. Water Break (Interlude) 
    14. Heartache 
    15. Get Away 
    16. Knock Knock 
    17. Ladies (feat. Lee Fields & The Expressions)
    18. Til' Infinity 
    19. The Badness (feat. Omen)
    20. Hold It Down 
    21. Last Call 
    22. Losing My Balance (Bonus Track)

    • Release Date: 2009